Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gingerbread Men Cupcakes

We had company over so I thought the boys would enjoy making their snack today. The boys friend celebrates his 10th birthday today but unfortunately since his family is in the midst of packing and moving they couldn't have his annual Birthday Party with friends. So I thought we would have him over for some guy time and make a special treat in his honor.

The cupcakes themselves are simple and great to make. Head over to Hello Cupcake for more amazingly fun ideas!! We ended up not using 7 individual cupcakes like the original recipe called for but had 6 each. I didn't realize we did not have enough for everyone to make one if they used 7 per Gingerbread Man. It worked out all the same.

Where I am Right Now

I can see myself in this song on soooo many levels. I am at a crossroads in my life knowing that God is All Powerful but man has his own will. I want the Body of Christ to walk in the Fulness God intended but right now my Hope is all I have. With Faith the size of a mustard seed I will cling to the promise that one day The Bride of Christ will be all she needs to be.

Right now I am just crying out to the Lord asking what will be our ending? How will we come through? The little boy in this video speaks so loudly to a situation I am standing for.

My favorite group again singing a very appropriate song for me. I hope you enjoy!
Barlow Girl Beautiful Ending

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Life After Sledding

We had some tired boys and we still have one sore mama. My arms don't want to work right now. I tired putting on my shirt this morning and could barely lift them up over my head. Why do we have to get older???

Monday, December 21, 2009

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!!!

I love snow and I am so excited we have some for Christmas!!! I hope it snows more and more and more this year. I am one of those moms that jumps in her snow gear and runs out with the boys. Forget baking and cleaning and relaxing in the warm house while the kiddos frolic in the snow...I am usually challenging them to a sled race.

This was a great weekend. We even got to go sledding with our friends the Geraty's. If your in our area and you need some crazy family to go sledding with just give me a holler. I drop everything and bundle the boys up just to fling myself down those beautiful white hills. :-)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Chaos!!

Next time I am in a staff meeting and they ask for volunteers maybe I should take note that there is a good reason everyone is silent. Last staff meeting the Directors asked for someone to over see the Board Members& Staff Christmas Celebration. Of course it's only me and the Administer besides the two directors that comprise the staff team. As everyone sat quiet and still I slowly raised my hand in intern-obedience.

Now I know why my dear friend Pat kept silent and glanced heavily at the floor. I spent this week buying food and decorating the Retreat Center and basically spending my entire week in Lancaster trying to put this together. Today is my first day home in the morning all week and still I have to pick up the boys at 1pm and travel back down. I don't mind and really do love this ministry a lot, it's just my Knight was gone last week and this past weekend he threw his back out. A lot of responsibility regarding home issues were tossed on my plate on top of this party endeavor not leaving me with much prep time. So needless to say when I got to the breakfast table after writing notes to teachers and looking for missing school t-shirt for a field trip I saw my home-made pumpkin bread being eaten. What's wrong with that? Well, that was going to be a gift for my directors. I made three loaves; one for us and two for the directors and their families. We ate our loaf already.

Unfortunately that put Drama Mama over the edge and tears began to fall. Nothing like dropping guilt unto your children and husband as they are munching on your bread. At one point a saw each of the boys stop chewing and look as though they were thinking about spitting it out. Like that would help!

Forgiveness was handed out this me not to the kids because they honestly didn't know. I told my Knight the other evening about the bread being gifts but apparently a bad back effects the mind especially the memory.

At this point right now I want to get through this day and on to the weekend. I did come up with a last minute food gift for everyone. It just has been a loooooooong week and a loooooong December. I am ready for a New Year!!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

I'm Bursting At The Seams!!!

My Knight is winging his way home today from Arizona!! I keep looking at the time thinking "Dang it! I could have sworn it was an hour since I checked last not 5 minutes ago. Time is slowly moving along here."

I have missed him and so have the boys. You just know it's a peice of you missing when family is not near. But soon he'll be home. I kind of feel bad for him. After a long week of business meetings and people he will probably just want some down time and when he steps his first foot in the door he will be overtaken by a family mob!! We'll just tackle him to the floor in love!

Yay! Can't wait until 5pm tonight, my love is coming home! I also don't have to sleep with DK's feet in my face one more night. That kid can't sleep still, he's like a perpetual Merry'Go'Round at night stealing all the covers. Yes when my Knight is gone DK gets really sad and thinks he needs to protect me by sleeping near me. So this time we had a big sleepover/camp out in the boys room. Not a good idea. Note to self "Not ever again!!!"

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Think of Me

I am holding down the fort right now while my Knight is away again. I woke him up this morning with a wake up call my time 8am his time 5am. In great Drama Mama style I sang him my favorite Phantom of the Opera song Think of Me. All I could hear was my husband trying to cut in with "Honey it's 5am here...honey...laughter...ha..ha..please stop...I'm up OK!" You must realize I don't have an ounce of tone or melody in my voice at all. I just pretend to be an opera singer and belt it out with great flare.

Any way, he had a good laugh and he still loves me! Enjoy the song. This lady can really sing. I love this musical!! Leave me a comment if you have a good song I could wake my Knight up tomorrow morning with! :-) Hey don't feel bad for him...I have the three kids and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He on the other hand has himself and fine dinning for the next few days. I don't know but I think there should be some kind of "Mom" conference or training I could go to where they (someone other then myself would pay for it) would fly me some where warm, feed me good food and leave the kids behind. I would be ready to sit and listen to any old boring meeting:-)

Friday, December 4, 2009

My Christmas Pickle - A Story of the Fathers Love

This may sound like a silly title for a story about my heavenly Father's love but it isn't. See it all started 5 years ago. We had just moved into our current home. We were previously livingly in a 2 bedroom town home with all three boys. Life was cramped. We had lived there for our first 7 years of marriage.

After praying for sometime about finding another home we could afford and would be large enough for us we came across this home. It was originally out of our price range and the owners only wanted a family with one child. Well, with three boys we didn't fit that criteria. Friends of our encouraged us to investigate anyway. Low and behold the owners lowered the price drastically and OK'd our entire family. With that we moved in Sept.

Because of the move and not having a lot of money we knew Christmas was going to be tight. We saved up some money for the boys but knew we could not spend anything on Scott or I. It didn't bother me too much. I didn't mind because I love giving more than getting. But one thing I did miss though was going to get a new ornament that year for our tree. I love getting ornaments that represent special moments in our lives. They become wonderful testimonies of events in our lives that help our family to reflect about God's goodness right before the New Year.

With our current financial situation I knew we wouldn't be able to buy anything. One ornament I really wanted was a Glass Pickle. It's a german tradition and it held a happy memory from my past as a child. I thought that would make a great ornament to represent the blessing the Lord gave us through this house. I never told anyone about it, I just tucked it in my heart quietly away.

A few days before Christmas break from school I walked with the boys to the bus stop just like we do every other day of school. Nothing special. The boys hopped on the bus that morning and I turned to leave after waving and blowing kisses to everyone. When I turned there was one of the other mom's standing in front of me with a Christmas bag. I didn't know her very well, in actuality I didn't even know her name. I saw here there every morning and afternoon picking up her son but we were never cordially introduced to one another. We smiled and nodded every morning to one another but that's about it.

This time she said her name was Anne and she knew we were new to the neighborhood so she got me a Christmas gift. She said it was for the family. I took the bag, smiled and probably had a very shocked look on my face. It just blew me away that someone would give a total stranger a gift at Christmas.

I quickly went home ready to put the gift under the tree but the Lord stirred in my heart to open it up. Now I know you are all thinking it wasn't the Lord, "Livin stop spiritualizing your own curiosity and greed here." :-) But really it was the Lord. I opened it up and out came a Glass Pickle Ornament. I was blown away. I heard the Lord very clearly say "Merry Christmas, this is My gift to you."

He knew.
He heard.
He read my heart.

The Father so loved me that He even had a total stranger deliver a gift to me. It might seem silly or insignificant to others but to me that Glass Pickle represents the Fathers amazing Love. Every year now we get out the tree we remind the kids of the story of our pickle. We tell them that God does really hear you even when you tuck away your thoughts and desires and dreams deep in your heart where no one else has heard them before. There aren't days that go by that I don't think about my pickle. You know the Lady Anne, well she moved out of town right after that. I never received another gift from her again. I did thank her the next week for the gift. All she said was "I was shopping and thought I should pick something up for your family for Christmas. I read the story about the Glass Pickle and felt like it might be something your family would enjoy doing every year."

Wow, she had no idea about my past memories as a child and having the pickle ornament and she had no clue that I really wanted one but could not afford it that Christmas.

So what is tucked away in your heart that you have never shared with anyone? You may feel the desire, thought or dream will never come to pass because it is hidden inside of you but just wait and see. The Lord loves to listen to us even when we don't audibly speak. He loves to listen to our hearts and give us our desires.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Our Thanksgiving Blessing

This blessing is just too amazing not to here goes!

Two weeks ago I had surgery. We had been planning to visit my Knight's family from up-state NY over Thanksgiving way before the surgery was scheduled. But when push came to shove the surgery date could only be scheduled two weeks before Thanksgiving. I kept thinking "I'll be OK. I can make it." Unfortunately, I just wasn't really thinking straight. By this past weekend I realized I would be in a good deal of pain still and traveling 7 hours would be very difficult. We didn't know what to do. We kept flip-flopping back and forth about going, not going. It was so hard because we didn't want to hurt his family's feelings and it has been almost two years since we went up to visit.

Tuesday came along and we still did not have a definitive answer yet. Then we received an email. It was from my Director at Teaching The Word Ministry. He was explaining to me about a project he would like me to take on in regards to my internship. At the end of the email he typed the word "Caution". Underneath that he wrote telling us he felt the Lord strongly caution us about traveling over Thanksgiving and urged us not to go. Well, with a word like that from a man of God like him you just got to listen. So we made the hard decision of not going.

The kids were sad and so were Scott's family but we were going to manage through it all. Scott called his parents Wed. night to tell them the news. They took the situation well but Scott's dad was very upset that we would not have a real turkey dinner and a real Thanksgiving. I that point we didn't care. I was sore and Scott was tired and we were just going to throw Chicken Nuggets in the oven. Hey, they are still in the whole poultry family. : )

Not 5 minutes later did we get a call from dear friends of ours. They were calling to ask to bring us a meal on Thanksgiving. We felt terrible to accept their offer because we didn't want them to have to bring us a meal on Thanksgiving, they would be busy with their own family. They assured us they wanted to bless us in this way so we accepted. What transpired the next morning is still bringing tears to my eyes as I type this morning.

We heard a knock on our door Thursday morning (not early probably 10am or so). It was the whole family. They had coolers and boxes and oodles of food for us. Not only was it a meal but a whole Thanksgiving spread. All we had to do is put it in the oven. Scott and I were blown away. Then they also so blessed us with company. They had a family event later that afternoon but still took their time and hung out with us for a while. You just don't know how much that meant to our boys. They really were missing family this holiday and hanging out with their family filled that need in their heart.

After they headed out we set the table and just couldn't stop crying and thanking the Father for His love and theirs. When we ate as a family the boys and us all just remarked over and over and over again how good our Heavenly Father is. This family was truly God's hands and hearts to us. In obedience to the Lord by not traveling He totally blew us away and took care of our needs. The greatest part of this testimony was Scott calling his parents that evening. He told them all about what happened and they (who we are not sure where they are with the Lord) were in all that God would do that. They kept saying "You guys must have some heavenly connections we don't have."

So not only was this a tremendous blessing to our family but it was also a mighty testimony for Scott's family and may just be the seeds planted in their hearts to turn them back to God.

God Is So Good!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Off To Surgery

I am off this morning for some outpatient surgery. Oh yay!! (Add highly sarcastic tone here) Nothing serious, it's not open heart surgery or anything but I am not looking forward to it. They said about two weeks of recovery. So I might not be blogging for a while. I will be in bed most of the day so trying to get to my computer will not be easy.

Hopefully I can start posting about the Special Delivery soon. Maybe I will get it during my recovery time. If you think of me today I would appreciate some prayers. I am a little nervous.

Take care everyone!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Smile in the Midst of Sickness

DK now is sick. He has been running a fever of 104-102 for the last two days. Last night he started throwing up and I had the night time shift so Scott could make it to work in the morning. Nothing gets you up and running out of a dead sleep like the sound of a puking child.

Anyway, my Knight let me sleep in while he took the other two to the bus stop.

Then a little while later I heard...

very quietly "Mommmmm, hey Mommmmm"

When my eyes finally popped opened I saw my poor, pale white DK standing by my bed smiling. It was quite the sight. I then heard him say "I puked in the toilet all by myself. You didn't have to help me. I didn't even miss." Still smiling ear to ear, still pale and sickly.

He was so proud of himself. I just had to chuckle.

He asked for "his soda" which is Ginger Ale because no one else can drink it during flu season except the sick person. While getting him Ginger Ale he proceeded to ask me what could he eat. Here was his list...

DK "Can I have a banana, is that good for my stomach?"

Me"No honey, not good."

DK "Can I have cereal, is that OK for my stomach?"

Me "Nope not good either."

DK "Can I have fudge?"

I smiled and brought him a piece of toast and Ginger Ale. I could see the disappointment on his face but he started to cheer up when the soda made him burp. He told me he likes to burp when he's sick it makes him feel better. With that he ate his toast slowly turning it into as many Letters and Numbers as he could with each bite.

I need a few smiles in the midst of flu season. This will carry me through more puking and clean-up. :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I Guess Rocker Was Paying Attention To The Sermon

I found this on a piece of paper he brought home today. Taken from an in classroom school assignment Rocker was given yesterday. The assignment was to write an answer to "What would you do with $100"

Rocker wrote:

I would give $10 to church because you should give a tenth for offering. I would give the rest to the poor and let the poor do what ever they wanted except drugs. NO DRUGS!!!!!!!!! I would then give $10 to my mom and dad so we could buy groceries.

The teacher wrote Very Nice!!

Hopefully she does not think we can't afford groceries.:) I love that boys heart. He is a giver. He would give you the shirt off his back if he saw you needed it. But more important he sure did pay attention to the sermon in service even with a guest speaker.

It made me smile. I wonder what the teacher really thought. She is not a believer. That's Ok though we are already know as "That Family". :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Kids Say The Darndest Things

This past weekend I was sharing with my Knight about some frustrations I was having about being a parent. I felt a little judged by some individuals and I began entertaining thoughts of failure. "Maybe they are right and I am way off." " Maybe they truly do know how to raise my kids better then me." You know what I mean. If you have been a parent for even a few hours you probably have thought similar notions.

After a few minutes of my whining at the table with my Knight Shaggy popped into the conversation. This is what he said...

"Mom don't worry we trust your judgement for us."

I know that was a short sentence but those few words hit my heart like a rocket hitting the moon. My children at 11, 9 & 7 trust my judgement regarding them. Even better they trust me. Wow! I almost cried and gave Shaggy a big hug. What was most profound is knowing I never was able to convey that to my own parents because frankly I could not trust their judgement. I was put in harms way so many times by them that I could not trust at all. Now for my children to say they trusted me was sooooo huge.

You know all those generational curses and stuff you break off your life and your kids lives as they grow? I felt like I just witnesses a piece of fruit from that because no one in my family line has ever trusted their parents. I mean no one. My grandmother's mother left her at 16 to live on her own with her 3 other sisters. My mom faced a hard life, her mother worked so much of her early life and saw her father pass away at 19. You can see history repeating itself over and over again.

Now I see the breaking off of that and the amazing fruit budding from being set free. I am so glad I found Jesus and that I can live free from those curses that only brought death and sorrow to our family heritage. God Is So Good!! I receive every good thing the Lord has to give us as a family!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Question For Women

Do you or have you ever battled with low self-esteem? And not just the "it's that time of the month, I feel boated and fat" kind of low self-esteem, I mean the down and dirty, don't want to look at yourself in the mirror low self-esteem. I have gone through seasons where my self-esteem has been low but right now it is at an all time bottom. For a while I was OK with myself. I felt fairly comfortable in my own skin but for the last 3 months or maybe even more I have been in an all out war with my mind about how I look and feel.

I know since turning 30 I started to realize my body has changed and unlike in my 20's it just doesn't do or feel like it used to. Lately though I have not gotten through a day without the onslaught of negative thoughts about myself. There are areas of my thought life that I have become victorious in but my appearance/self-esteem is not one of those areas. A couple months ago I fasted for a week because the Lord laid it on my heart to do so. It was a hard week but the Lord came through powerfully. Because of fasting I lost 8 lbs. It was not a goal I had set for myself but when you are not eating, only drinking logically you will lose some weight. I knew eventually I would gain it back. During that week I got a comment that I looked really good and trim. The person who made the comment knew I was fasting, so it wasn't just a mistaken comment about weight loss. Wow, could 8 lbs really make a difference? Do I need to be that little to be attractive? It has bothered me ever since. My mind began to go back to the days I used to purposely not eat to lose weight. I can't believe after all these years of being free from that I see it trying to creep back into my life.

Another reason my self-esteem has been low, I believe, is the lack of time with my husband. He has been traveling a lot lately and working around the clock. By the time he gets home at night he's tired and his mind is preoccupied with deadlines. It is not his fault by any means but I can feel the effects. I don't hear the "You look nice honey" or "Wow you look beautiful today" any more. I know my self worth and value should not be so determined by someones words but I can tell the lack of encouraging words from my Love plays a crucial part in my battle.

So what to do. I have banned myself from keeping up with celebrities or glancing at them online, in the news or where ever. Their tiny, well exercised, toned bodies just become wrecking balls to my own self-esteem. I begin to entertain thoughts of maybe that's why Scott doesn't say much any more, maybe I have let myself go. Or that's why that person said that comment because I really do need to lose 10-20 lbs. I want to be happy with who I am and what I look like. I want to be comfortable with my weight and my looks. I struggle with other physical things like acne and such that slowly erode my self-esteem too. I don't want these things to keep me down any more but I will just be very frank and honest it is so darn hard. We live in a society that places so much worth and value on your appearance.

The Lord has spoken to me about this battle. Interestingly enough He did not condemn or judge me for struggling but just asked me to continue moving forward and battling this. He didn't show me a magical pill to take that would make all these thoughts disappear but He just said don't stop keep going. Sometimes we fail in life. Sometimes we give in instead of pressing forward but the point is we get back up and take another step. My focus right now is what do you want me to know today Lord? What is the Truth that will get me through today? Eventually I will be on the other side of this, victorious and rejoicing in my new found freedom but today I am in the war. I am on the front-lines picking my way through the battle field, hoping not to step on another land mine. Hopefully, in the end my battle scars will help bring others freedom to this area in their own lives. Now I need to go and battle whether I am going to have a cup of coffee this morning or not. That is more sugar that I don't need yet I would really like to have it. Ohhhhhh, the things going on in my head right now. Blaahhhhhh!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Shaggy Is 11 Today!!!!

Today is Shaggy's 11th birthday. I am amazed! Say it ain't so...I just gave birth to this bouncing, beautiful little baby only weeks ago. He can't truly be 11. He has turned into such a handsome amazing young man that makes this mama proud. He also makes his papa proud too. I love hanging out with him and laughing with him. He is a wonderful young man.

Happy Birthday Shaggy!! We all love you so much. Do you realize at 11 you are almost as tall as your dad? I am starting to get you and your dad's jeans mixed up. I wonder how tall you will be at 14?! Yikes!! :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Working Through My Disillusionment About The Church

Disillusionment...what it is and why am I sifting through it? Well, this book has had a profound impact on me about my disillusionment with the church. Yes, I said it and even printed it out. I have been battling my disillusionment with the church at large. Not one particular body of believers or building but church in general.

So what does disillusionment mean? Try this out for size...

disillusionment (countable and uncountable; plural disillusionments)

  1. A feeling that arises from the discovery that something is not what it was anticipated to be, commonly held to be stronger than disappointment especially when a belief central to one’s identity is shown to be false. (taken from the online Websters Dictionary)

For years I have struggled with this not knowing exactly why the church bothered me. Maybe because I grew up in and out of multiple churches until I was 12 and then my family stopped attending any church? Maybe it was because of the unusual past I grew up with? Maybe because some of the most heinous offenses of my past came from supposedly good Christians from church? I don't know but for a long time the word church made me cringe. I even remember distinctly in high school one of my friends asked me if I was "one of those people" referring to someone from church, even asking me if I was a Christian and I abruptly responded "No"! It wasn't that I didn't believe in God or that I did not want to be a Christian but those words represented dead, religious organizations and those in them who were just here to judge the world before Jesus return.

Unfortunately I have stumbled again across more of my own disillusionment about church in recent years. When my husband and I became believers and found a church to become a part of I very quickly began to see the dark side of church once more. What I thought would be a place of love and acceptance quickly became a place of masks and judgments. My heart just yearned for something real and authentic. Don't tell me about love, show me. Don't tell me you have it all together let me know you struggled and can still run the race. Don't give me programs or activities, give me relationships.

My director overseeing my internship at TTWM suggested that I needed to read this book "Dear Church: Letters from a Disillusioned Generation". It has been a powerful, thought provoking book in my life. It is really helping me to reexamine church, my heart and help me to wade through many of my own frustrations to find Christ's true mission and what church was created to be. It has also made me realize I am not alone in my feelings and that our generation is going to help usher in the emerging church of this time.

I realize now that I am not too get frustrated about all that is happening in and around the church and then just abandon it but that I am called to pray, fast and stand for the Body to become the church Jesus desired her to be. It isn't always pretty folks. I know deep in my heart there is something more that the Body of Christ is called to be and God will get us there. If I truly believe He can do "all things" than I should stop doubting that He can make His Bride spotless and beautiful. Maybe I am called to be a part of that transformation.

If any of you struggle with this area I would highly, HIGHLY recommend reading this book. After reading spend time with the Lord and ask Him to help you sift through your own experiences with the church at large. I will guarantee you many of those times the church hurt you or let you down that Jesus was not there personally doing that. Many times if not every time He was there grieving as much as you were.

I have a bit more soul searching to do on this topic. I am not quite there yet. I constantly get frustrated and stirred by the church but I want to be in a position to help Jesus Bride not stumble her any more. I publicly repent now for the times I have spoken against the church and Body at large because of my frustrations. I was wrong and know that I was not only speaking against the Body of Christ but Christ Himself when I put the church down.

It still may take some time before we see transformation happen but I so desire to see it through. I am determined to work through my disillusionment and find God's true perspective on this issue, no matter how many times I have to go before Him about this.

Seriously, pick up a copy of this book. It is really good!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Flu Season Hybernation

It has hit our home, the wonderful flu bug. Just a note to let you all know that we will be falling off the radar for some time until this nasty little bug finishes its life cycle in our home. That means no church for some time, no visits with friends, no extra activities for a while. I am curious about how much time the boys will be off school because of this. Not that I don't believe the Lord can restore their bodies to health quickly but already the school wants Rocker checked for H1N1 and then they have a quarantine period where he cannot return to school until a certain amount of time.

I am hoping too with DK getting the vaccine he won't be too affected by this. It did ruin plans for my Knight and I. We have not gone on a date in 3 months and my Knight took tomorrow off so we could have a date day. That's not going to be happening now or for a very long time.

So email, call or leave comments to keep me informed about what's going on in the world outside our little home because we will be hunkered down for some time. We won't be visibly out much. I definitely don't want to pass this thing on.

We will see you all on the flip side of this flu!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Meltdown

Today was a sad day in the Livin' household I had an all out meltdown in public no less. It happened at our local grocery store at the pharmacy. I know the tension and stress in our lives has been piling up but I thought I could make it through. I kept telling myself that God doesn't give us what we can't handle. He knows our breaking point. Well...I guess I caved sooner than expected.

We are going through a lot here. My husbands job has really put stress on our family and our marriage and it has taken its toll. My husband is not the issue it's just he has been slammed with so many projects and deadlines that we basically pass each other in the night. It has been a hard season. Then there are other things that are causing enormous stress here that would probably take up entire posts in themselves. I just kept trying to keep my focus on Christ and keep plowing through them all...until today.

Today was the straw that broke this mama's back. I had to take DK into the doctors for asthma issues and what seemed like an Upper Respiratory Infection. After seeing the Doc my assumptions were confirmed with the added sinus infection to boot. The doctor filled out 5 prescriptions for me to take and then gave DK the H1N1 vaccine. His UR issues concerned the doctor and he wanted to make sure DK had protection against this virus. Their office alone is seeing 10 cases at least a day of the swine flu. The other doctor in the practice told me that everyone coming in with the flu has the swine flu version. So I prayed over DK before the shot and watched my brave little guy take the vaccine.

Then it was off to the pharmacy. I handed in my prescriptions and went to get DK lunch before taking him back to school. When I came back the pharmacist dropped the hammer. They could only fill 3 out of the 5 prescriptions. One had to be authorized by the doctor and there was some discussion about how I had to take care of that. Very confusing especially since this med never needed to be pre-authorized before. After that she informed me that I can only get one inhaler per month. I tried explaining to her that one inhaler was for home and the other is for the school. I showed her the prescription as evidence but there was no arguing the cause. At this point I could feel myself getting overwhelmed and upset. I just tried to continue and keep myself from falling apart.

Finally they rang the 3 prescriptions and they totaled up to $100. What!!! I asked if there were any generics for these meds but the problem was the inhaler. The stupid government banned the old generic inhalers because they were using chemicals that were depleting the Ozone. Now, don't get me wrong, I am all about saving our environment but give me a break! You are telling me that changing all inhalers to this more expensive, better for the environment kind is going to help our depleting ozone and global warming. Please...someone go after the car industry and industrial plants with their pollution and leave us asthmatic patients alone. One inhaler is over $50 each with no generic form. That's when I broke down in tears. We don't make a lot of money because we choose to allow me to be home for the boys. $100 in prescriptions is a lot of money out of an already tight budget plus we don't get paid until Friday. I didn't know if we had enough money to cover the meds.

I know it's not the pharmacists fault but I lost it. I was upset, crying and angry. I tried hard to explain to the ladies I was not mad at them but just upset with the situation. I retired to the van and called my husband. It was awful. I hate breaking down on him when he's at work. It's not like he needs any more stress but I had had it. I lost all my resolve, my strength and my emotional fortitude. I guess it didn't help that I had three dreams last night where I woke up screaming. So really I had little sleep too.

Now I am home and recomposed. I feel like a failure. I didn't show Christ to anyone today. I feel tired of this battle and ready for it to be over. I will continue on though...taking one step at a time. I needed to share that with you all, I am not sure why but maybe for my own sanity. I don't always have it together. I am not always strong. I am just so darn glad I can fall and then have a loving heavenly Father who picks me up. He doesn't even look at me as a failure. He just cries with me and holds me when I have no strength left in me to continue on.

I know in my heart of hearts we will get through this season. I know that this is the fire that will turn our simple offering into pure gold but it isn't easy. Anyone who tells you that life is easy when following the Lord is a liar. The Lord tells us we will have trouble in this world but to take heart because He has overcome this world. It isn't getting through life happy and blissfully its moving from glory to glory. Today wasn't very glorious for me but it is just another way the Lord can refine me.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Family Fun Fall Weekend

Our family tradition of fall Apple picking. We do it every year now!

We usually go out twice in the fall for apples and then
make applesauce and freeze it for winter. The boys love
going each year.

We also added pumpkin pie baking this year. A dear friend
of our gave us three large crock-necked or long-necked
pumpkins from his garden. My Knight did not want them to
go to waste so Sat when we got back from apple picking he
started chopping up my gorgeous pumpkins. They are great
pumpkin pie pumpkins.

Everyone dove in. Shaggy and my Knight took care of the
pumpkins and DK, Rocker and I took care of the apples.

When I went to make pumpkin pie I tired whipping everything
up by hand. My mixer went out about 3 months ago and I have
been dragging me feet about getting a new one.
After my Knight saw me struggling to whip the egg whites
into fluffy peeks he proceeded to get his drill and show me how
a real man whips egg whites.

The boys loved it. I on the other hand am determined to get a new mixer now.:)
Poor Elise J...she would be mortified if she saw this.

We had such a great weekend. No agenda, no obligations just family fun. The weekend ended with 4 pumpkin pies, oodles of apple sauce, apple fritters and just an overall sense of peace. The boys told us it was the best weekend ever. That makes it all worth it!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Beautiful Let Down

This week we were blessed to host our church's School of Ministry as we celebrated Sukkot. We had such a wonderful time. Friday started Sukkot and we have been hosting evening gatherings since then. Last night was our last night with the School of Ministry. Technically Sukkot does not end until the end of this week.

Here is our Sukkah we built. It was such a beautiful evening.

We would have a fire each night and spend the evening eating
and fellowshipping in the Sukkah.

Last night was a bad wind storm in our area. Unfortunately our little Sukkah did not make it through. Today we will have to untangle it and hopefully salvage what we can. Our glass table survived the downfall and the chairs underneath of the Sukkah are all in tack. DK was a bit sad. We knew last night this wind storm was approaching so he prayed that Jesus would protect it. I feel He did protect it but not the way DK wanted it protected.

Anyway, after a long 5 days we had our beautiful let down as we inspected the ruins. I was so blessed to participate in this this year but sad it has come to such an abrupt end. It's OK though. We learned much through this amazing experience.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

"I Clean Therefore I Am" - Livin'

If Rene Descartes philosophized "I think therefore I am" then I would like to declare "I clean therefore I am" or so I feel right now.

I have cleaned this house everyday this week. Is this all I was created to do? If Decartes says "I am thinking therefore I exist", then right now I say "I am cleaning therefore I exist".

I hate cleaning. I hate picking up the same piles of junk six times a week and putting the same bazillion dishes away each day. My kids work around the house too but even with their help it still is unending. I honestly feel like my total exsistance this week was to clean. No thinking, no pondering just doing laundry, washing floors, scrapping food off plates and cleaning toilets.

This hasn't been the greatest week for me. Sorry to vent but I need to start thinking more and cleaning less. Or is it that I am only thinking about cleaning therefore I exist? Oh, boy! I need a day off. Someone email my husband and tell him to take out his crazy wife before she goes and gets books on philosophy from the Library and begins to write her own philosophical ideals on motherhood. Help me please!:)

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Visionary Learning to Rest...

I am what you call a visionary. Nothing fancy just someone who is always looking at the big picture and tends to forget the details of things here and there because my sights are always set for the horizon. I am also a very passionate person driven by my beliefs and convictions. In life this isn't bad but it needs to be tempered with some good doses of the here and now and restfulness. I guess that's why God put me with my Knight. He is an excellent daily source of the here and now and rest. He completes me. :)

In this season though the Lord is teaching me to rest. When your leader skills primarily come from vision you can tend to get ansy when things aren't going as you planned or "envisioned" them. Especially in regards to your walk with the Lord. I tend to get words from the Lord or hear Him speak to me about my life and then I wait patiently for Him to move. NOT!

Actually I hear or receive things from the Lord and then expect immediate results. I get easily frustrated when what the Lord spoke or promised doesn't come to pass quickly. Because of my vision type leadership I then feel I need to "do" something. I also second guess myself. "Did I hear right? Am I not doing the right things? Was that really the Lord or just that late night sub?"

This then gets me in trouble. I am now coming to grips with the reality that I need to rest. Vision is great but if you cannot trust in what the Lord has said then what's the point of listening. I will just keep giving up and moving on to something else and miss the blessing. Right now I am learning to walk this out. Let me tell you it isn't easy for me. I want to run and do and work but God keeps bringing me back to rest. He asks me "Do you trust me? Do you believe I am who I say I am? Then don't worry and rest." OK God, easier said then done but I will submit to this season.

So now I wait on Him as we wait on some promises. Some of the promises are for myself, my family, my husband and some are even larger in scope like for our State and Nation. In the midst of the waiting I must keep reminding myself of God's promises. I must rest in the assurance of who He says He is. This is a very difficult lesson for me to be learning but I keep telling God to help me so I don't have to come around this mountain again. I see the importance of those who lead out of Rest and those who lead out of Vision but I am really seeing the critical need to land some where in the middle of that spectrum. Jesus is our perfect example, he was not too far one way or the other. He knew who He was, what the Father wanted Him to do and He was great at just resting in that and not striving to make things work.

If you see me around and I am acting a little odder than normal you can just know that I am in the midst of learning a tough but needed lesson. I never thought resting could be such a difficult and tiring thing to do. :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


We had the joy of Kibble-sitting this past weekend. Classic, Not-so-classic, Scarlet & Bubba went away this past weekend and we watched their little guinea pig named Kibble. He is so darn cute!

For the first day he was with us he wouldn't come out of his pig-loo (the little pink house). He literally picked it up and walked around his cage in it. I believe he is part turtle. Even at feeding time he picked up his pig-loo and walked right over to his feeding dish. He would dart his little head out, pick up a morsel and shoot back inside. It was hilarious.

Finally he warmed up to us here at the Livin' household and we got to pet him and love him a couple times. He went home last night with Not-so-classic. I know the boys are sad to see him leave. I don't know...maybe we will have to acquire a Kibble too. For now we will look forward to watching him anytime they are away.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sukkot - Feast of Booths "Time of our joy"

Sukkot is the Jewish holiday called the Feast of Booths. It is a time of celebration by remembering God rescuing the people of Israel from Egypt and sustaining them in the wilderness. It is called the Feast of Booths because the Lord commanded the people of Israel to dwell in booths (Leviticus, 23:42) for seven days to remind them of how God took care of them in the desert. Also it is a time the Jewish people remember as God tabernacled with them in the wilderness. That's why it is sometimes referred to as the Feast of Tabernacles. On the Jewish calender it follows after the High Holiday of Yom Kipur, the Day of Atonement.

Yom Kipur is the Holiest day of the Jewish year because it is the day the Jewish people feel we are closest to God. It is a day of solemness where we search our hearts for sin and God makes atonement for it. "For on this day He will forgive you, purify you, that you be cleansed from all your sins before God" (Leviticus 16:30). Feast of Booths then brings a time of great celebration and joy. It celebrates Israel's salvation and is a time to give thanks to God for all He has provided for this past year and ask for a blessing of the New Year.

This year the Lord laid it on our hearts to participate in celebrating Sukkot. Scott and I are not sure exactly why but we feel it is one of those situations where the Lord has asked for obedience without the full understanding at this point. So we joined with our church's School Of Ministry and will be observing Sukkot Oct. 2nd through the 9th.

It is a lot of fun and we plan on celebrating it to it's fullest. We did have to build our own Sukkah which is a temporary dwelling place or booth. It is to remind you of how the Lord took care of the Israelite's in the desert. It is also to remind us that our security and protection only comes from God not in homes, bank accounts, jobs or anything that man can do. I especially like that, I need that reminder quite often.

So here are the beginnings of our Booth.
Sukkah Requirements:
It has to be built in an open area where no buildings or trees are covering it. It needs at least two complete walls and a small part of a third. Some Jewish people with build a fully enclosed structure but we did not feel that would work for us. The walls can be made of any material as long as it can withstand a normal wind. The roof however, needs to be made of natural materials (branches, leaves, vines). You may use some some rough wood if necessary but they must not exceed 15 inches in width. The roof must be sufficiently covered so it gives more shade then light but you must be able to see the sky also. I believe one of the sites I refernced too in finding this information explained that the branches or roofing material must cover at least 40% of the top. ***Theses requirements are laid out in the Talmud and not specifically found in the Old Testament. Requirements also very from various Jewish groups.

As you can see we used a part of a canopy for some of the frame.
Then we had to build the back of the frame with 2x4's. I joked with Scott that it's a "real" man's Sukkah because we used duck tape to hold the poles to the wooden frame. He assured me that if God provided heavenly manna in the desert then He probably provided duck tape too. In our house duck tape is a sacred element.

There you have it!

We will hang the walls the first day of the celebration on the 2nd of Oct and also put on the roof at that time. I thought over all it turned out pretty cool. I will post pictures of our finished Sukkah and the week long celebration. I am offering to anyone who would like to experience the Feast of Booths if you and your family want to come over one night between the 2nd & the 9th to email me. We would be glad to open our home up to you. The only thing you would need to bring is some lawn chairs and a harvest food dish to share.

More to come...finding Jesus in the midst of Sukkot.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Ups & Downs Of Parenting

There are days when I feel as though I am on a roller coaster with my kids. As a parent you don't always know which way is up and when the track will take another immediate turn. Lately we have been on a new ride with Shaggy. He seems a bit more unpredictable with his emotions and testing his boundaries lately. Don't get me wrong, he's not in total rebellion or anything but it is a difficult stage. One moment things are great and we seem to be all happy and with a blink of an eye he is now mad or upset and refusing to obey. With that of course comes discipline but it still doesn't feel like we are getting any where with this at the moment. We seem to circle the same mountain a couple times in our day.

I have become very good lately at reading the atmosphere of the room before I walk in. Is it time to start up intense prayer or are we in a good state of mind right now? Shaggy is going to be turning 11 in Oct. and so I have been hotly pursuing the feet of Jesus asking what to do. Am I the issue here Lord, is Scott the issue or are we not meeting a need in Shagy's life? What is it? The answer I have been receiving over and over again has surprised me. I guess it shouldn't but it has.

The Lord keeps reminding me of our butterfly's. He shows me this picture of Shaggy tightly bound in a cocoon. He is struggling to get out. Then I heard the Lord say this to me..."You and Scott have raised your sons to become men. You have set your standard high. Shaggy is now wrestling with Me and his identity as a man of Christ. Many young boys struggle with becoming a man but start later in life closer to their late teens. This becomes a problem because they are no longer in a safe environment. Their wrestling now becomes entangled with society and the pressures of life. They have less boundaries and therefor push further than they can at 11 or 12. Shaggy has begun the process, let him struggle. A butterfly who is not allowed to push it's way out of the cocoon will prematurely die. The process of pain in a butterfly's life produces it's beauty."

We have always respected various cultures that have a "coming of age" ceremony for boys. You can pin point a distinct time in their culture when the young man is no longer recognized as a boy and has now transformed into a man. The Jewish culture in particular marks the age 13. At that age the young man goes through his Bar-mitzvah and is recognized into manhood. Scott and I have really felt that 13 will be the age for our boys too. We have told them that on their 13th birthday they will have a special party to celebrate their manhood.

This is why I feel we are going through this with Shaggy. In his spirit he knows the time is coming and he is beginning the process of transformation now.

I know you might be asking what about girls & their "coming of age" issues but I have to defer that point to someone else because we don't have any girls. I can say this, that I just witnessed our neighbors big "Sweet 16" party for their oldest daughter. I remember having my "Sweet 16" party too. We also embrace young women when they get their first period. It can be a joyous occasion for many families. But what do we do for our young me?. At 18 we can send them off to fight for our country but many don't even know if they are a "man" yet.

We have chosen to embrace man-hood here at the Livin' household and celebrate it at 13. I believe because of that decision we are going through some of these rough times now where others may experience later on. So I will continue to ride the ride. I will continue to pray fervently for me boys. Thankfully with an analogy of a roller coaster you know there is an end. You finally shoot through your last loop and wind around your last corner to reach the exit platform. It's not always fun but it's in God's hands. I just got to remember sometimes to sit back and enjoy the ride.