Monday, March 31, 2008

Let Your Clay Be Moist

Let Your Clay Be Moist
It is not thou that shapest God
It is God that shapest thee.
If then, thou art the work of God,
Await the hand of the Artist
who doesAll things in due season.
Offer Him thy heart,
Soft and tractable and keep the form
In which the artist has fashioned thee.
Let the clay be moist
Lest thou grow hard
And lose the imprint of His fingers.–St. Irenaeus

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lifting Hands-Part 1

We have taught our kids young (from infant on...okay, so Ellie doesn't know exaaaaactly what she's doing yet, but I love that I captured that moment) to praise and worship. ( Thank you, Susie for the awesome Baby Praise DVD you gave last night! Ellie and Gabe watched it this morning before church.) It still takes my breath away and brings tears to my eyes when Gabe does this with no prodding from Jason and I. Every morning from little on, we have praise and worship (music time) for 1/2 hour to an hour and we also read the Bible. It's been so amazing to watch Gabe catch on and just "enter in" with me during these times.
Last night, we went back to our old church, Living Hope in Watseka, and during p&w, Gabe lifted his hands without prodding....same thing this morning at our church in Fairbury. It's priceless. These are the first times he's actually done it at church, it's always been at home. For so long Jason and I have watched kids younger than 5 yrs old lift hands in church and thought how cool it will be when our own can do the same...and we are there.
Thank You Father!!! Thank You Father for these precious gifts of children You have given to us. We ask Your protection upon them and Your continual wisdom in raising them up to be mighty warriors for Your kingdom. We love You...and will raise up holy hands to You alone...because You are worthy to be praised!! In Jesus' name...Amen.

"I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dougting..." 1 Timothy 2:8

"Thus I will bless (praise) You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name." Psalm 63:4

Blake Memories

On Friday night, Mom, Isaac, Chelsea, Barb(Blake's mom)Dakota, and Keegan (his brothers) came over for pizza. It was a fun night. Barb had brought Blake's Alligator Hunt movie that he had went on down in Florida last summer. The people that made the movie did an amazing job of putting awesome songs on it and really capturing great takes of Blake. It showed him just loving life as they traveled by a small fishing boat, taking in creation, and the great capture. He looked so healthy and joyful. His dad was with him on the hunt and a couple side shots of the two of them, Blake is a spitting image. He was just starting to get that look of a young maturing man and I had the thought: God, it's so unfair that You had to take him so young. And then later, holding Ellie and watching the kids play, I had to think, but ya know, we do want our kids to go back to Heaven on God's timing not ours....because if we would plan our children's lives out by how we wanted it to go, it wouldn't be as near as beautiful of a life for them as what God has.

Today, after church, I went out to his grave for a little bit. People have started putting flowers, wind chimes, memory stones, etc and it looks neat. I guess I just hate the look of black soil, no grass growing looks too bare. They have a cool solar light out there too. Barb came out as I was leaving and she said, "Donald said, you know what Blake would say to all this stuff sitting here? He would be shaking his finger at you." Barb just laughed and said, He can shake his finger all he wants. It was so good to hear her laugh...and just so amazing to me when I see her smile. A mother that can smile thru losing her first born son...this is truly from God. Blake would be so proud of her. For those of you reading this, I just ask that you would take time to keep this family in your prayers. Pray for Barb's mother heart, for Don's father heart, and for the siblings: Shelby, Skyler,Dakota, and Keegan....pray that God's arms of Love would continue to hold them close and that His peace that passes all understanding would continue to comfort them in the hard days.

This was one of the songs on the his alligator movie:

Love n Hugs...Laura

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Heavens Declare

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands."
~Psalm 19:1
I captured this picture the other afternoon in the countryside of Forrest...spring is truly here when the wheat fields become green!
I feel like spring is coming to my heart this year again also. This winter I harbored alot of anger and it turned into bitter roots over time. As the weather becomes warmer and sunnier each day, I feel my Father telling me the same must happen with me. I must let Him in deeper to prune out the bad so that His goodness can spring up anew in me. It's not a fun process....and it usually isn't a quick process with me. My stubborness can work negative too often. So this spring, I open my heart again and say:
"Heavenly Father, come again to my heart. Forgive me for hardening my heart to the things that I haven't let You deal with. Forgive me for letting the anger go too deep and turn into bitterness. I ask You today Father, to be the farmer that my heart needs so desperatley. I want to bring forth abundant fruit Father...and be the woman You are calling me to be. Thank You again, for Your unchanging Love for me." In Jesus' Name...Amen.
Love n Hugs...Laura

Vicks to the Rescue! we have been superly abundantly blessed this winter with our kids not getting sick.
About a month before Ellie was born back in October Gabe threw up twice then was fine....we didn't lose any sleep or anything, so that was something to be thankful for.
Twice this winter I got strep throat and both times I got the shot in-da-rear....I get super sick when I have strep and it was NOT fun....but yet, I'd rather be sick than watch our poor babies get sick. Jason had a bad cough/brochitis twice this winter too, but once again, we felt blessed it wasn't our kids. But can you expect to get thru a whole winter/spring without yer kids getting sick and passing it on to each other?? Since they love to snot-touch-wipe nose-touch-snot around-touch, all know what I'm talking about.

So Gabe is getting his 2 yr molars I'm pretty sure..all the drooling he's doing, man he has his own lake about now, we've got a spot in our yard called Gabester Lake, we pour all his drool in daily, it's becoming an ocean...beware! Low temp off and on, runny fountain nose and now the cough...yuck! poor kid, you just wish you could show them how to hack up all those hair balls, but it is a technique we master with maturity I guess. But just so you know: VICKS on the feet at night time cures it all! (well not the runny nose, ocean still expanding also) All the emails that float around and ya wonder if they are true? well, this one is.....every night we put vicks on gabe's feet and cover it up with socks and stick him in bed, the cough doesn't start again til he's running around the next day playing. A miracle! A wonderful remedy!

Well, Lil Miss Ellie got the runny nose, has been chewing like crazy and drooling......soooo I've been wondering if she would get teeth early like Gabe did. He started at 4 mths.....crazy I know....and I'm a breastfeeding mama....just wonderful! Discipline starts young with saying No, No to biting......*sigh* but it's so worth it ;) So she's congested now, praise the Lord for Baby Vicks Rub and cool mist humidifiers!!!! We finally got a good night's sleep last night (after 3 rough nights) when I decided, let's try vicks with her too....but you can't put it on baby's younger than 3 months. And you have to get Baby's vicks....otherwise, like my friend Whitney says: The child will scream if you use adult stuff....thanks for the tip Whit!

Hope you all are staying healthy and will get thru the weather change smoothly ;)

Thursday, March 27, 2008


This dreary, rainy afternoon...with my hazelnut coffee and lemon poppyseed bread from mom....I'm thinking on this:

"Smile at each other, smile at your wife, smile at your husband, smile at your children, smile at each other -- it doesn't matter who it is -- and that will help you to grow up in greater love for each other." ~Mother Theresa

Heavenly Father...I want to grow up in a greater love for You....a greater love for my husband...a greater love for my children...a greater love for my brothers and sisters in Christ. Continue to show me, Father, what true love really is, as only You alone can do. Forgive me for my grouchy heart that hasn't been as loving as it should have been today. Purify my heart Lord...cleanse my heart of the bitterness, the anger, the selfishness...everything that is not of You. Thank You for Your perfect love for me. In Jesus' Name...Amen.

Love n Hugs....Laura

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Our nephew Gage's 3rd birthday...Daniel's boy.
Little miss Ellie has truly been a JOY and such a ray of sunshine!!

Okay, seriously I'm 5'9...but you could never tell that when I'm standing next to my brothers! This is Daniel....celebrating our birthdays, we are the same age for 1 wk.

uh oh...sorry for all the duplicates...have no idea what happened.....

This mama will let her babies grow up to be cowboys!!!!! (But NO riding bulls!)

This is what we call a birdy perch... If you pout long enough, a bird might find a landing ;)

Proud big brother

I'm 4 months old now!! Almost sitting on my own!

My sick blue eyes...I'm getting my 2 yr molars and hava runny nose and cough to go with it ;(

You are a Jewel

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10 NKJV

Sometimes I get so frustrated and down on myself that I can't get certain things right in my life. Like I feel I try so hard to do better at certain things and the harder I try, the worse I do. I know looking back that I'm trying to much of it myself....even though I"m praying about it and telling God that I'm giving it to Him...I didn't really surrender it fully to Him. I am like that poem where it talks about giving it all (or so we thought) to God, then getting frustrated with Him that it didn't turn out how we wanted it to. God then says: My child, how could I when you never gave it to me completely to fix in the first place?

So, I looked up workmanship this morning in Webster's. It says this:
WORKMANSHIP: the quality imparted to a thing in the process of making.
Thank You Father for the reminder that I am a constant work in progress....and You are not going to give up on matter what. Because You love me thru and thru....even with all my mistakes and mess-ups along the way. Thank You that Your mercies are new everyday!

"For we are God's masterpiece, He created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do good things He planned for us long ago." Ephesians 2:10 (not sure about the version, we are about to check out of hotel and didn't have time to look up, forgive me)
MASTERPIECE: showpiece; blockbuster, success; gem, jewel, prize, treasure---these are synomyms, words that mean the same.

God loves what He created. That means He loves us unconditionally. That means you are sooooooooooooo very very loved. That means you are a jewel. Precious in His sight.

Love n Hugs....Laura

Monday, March 24, 2008


Recently, Jason and I got new Bibles. Our new church that we switched to here in Fairbury when we moved last summer (Faith Fellowship) uses New King James....which we had 1 in that version already but it's the one that sits on top of the bathroom toilet for we both felt it should stay there since it's been infected with all kinds of bathroom germs already. ;) Great excuse to get new Bibles!! You can never have too many, eh? Jason got the Thompson Chain Reference Study Bible...which is really stinkin' cool! He loves to show me things and talk about how cool it is frequently. (I love seeing him get as excited as a little kid going fishing) I on the other hand got the Dennis & Barb Rainey FamilyLife Marriage Bible...and have been super excited with it. So for anyone looking for new Bibles....these are top 2 on our list right now.
Just wanted to share with you this article from mine on Thankfulness. Enjoy...

3 Reasons why God wants us to be thankful thru all circumstances and conditions:

FIRST: giving thanks expresses faith--faith in our God, who is competent and never makes a mistake. He is so trustworthy!!

SECOND: when we determine to be thankful in all things, we quickly begin to exhibit more of the fruits of righteousness. None of us is naturally thankful. In fact, we're all pretty self absorbed creatures that tend to think life revolves around our wants and needs. But as we yield to His Spirit, we become more and more what the Bible calls a spiritual person.

THIRD: because He has big stuff for us to do on His behalf, God wants us to move beyond the small stuff. If we spend our life overwhelmed with the details of daily existence, how will we ever become warriors for the big causes of Jesus Christ?

For you married ones: Learning the art of giving thanks as a twosome is one of the most rewarding experiences of praying together.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 we learn to give thanks in everything, "for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

Love n Hugs...Laura

Coffee Beans

Did you know that if you vaccum up coffee beans that your monkey boy gets into and spills EVERYWHERE..............the exhaust from the vaccum gives off a heavenly aroma of yummy coffee!!! (if your child picked a good variety to play with) It has been about 2 wks now that it happened and this day...when Gabe and I "pueen" (how he says clean) every morning...our house fills up with the wonderful smell of hazelnut coffee! yum!

Well, it's spring break here at our house for Daddy...but we haven't seen that beautiful warm weather yet that Texas has!!! ;( bummer.....i'm trying to be so patient....but it's getting harder as the first day of spring has officially been here ya know!

Not sure if i'll have time to blog tomorrow as Jason is carrying me off to a Roman Retreat in Clinton, IL for my bday present. We have been looking forward to it for a long time now! The weather is actually supposed to be nice tomorrow, so yipee!!

Hava blessed day! Love n Hugs...Laura

Sunday, March 23, 2008

He is Risen!

Hallelujah...Jesus has risen!!

Love n Hugs...Laura

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter

"We need to immerse ourselves over and over again for long periods of time and very quietly into the living, speaking, acting, suffering and dying of Jesus; so that we may recognize what God promises and what He fulfills." --Deitrich Bonhoffer

We just got back from Easter and March birthdays at my parents. (I got the biggest, most painful birthday spanking....wait no, whoopin' of my life tonite from Jacob...ouch! i wasn't prepared, so i didn't get to brace myself for what was coming...always the worst!) What a yummy meal and fun time though. We had ham balls, cheesy potatoes, corn off the cob (from the freezer), strawberry jello salad, applesauce, banana bread, poppy seed bread, then birthday desserts. It was my brother Daniel's bday, his boy Gage, and mine this month, so we all picked what we wanted. I picked grasshopper pie, Dan picked German Chocolate cake and Gage got a big choc chip cookie...they were all sooooooo mom is the best cook ever!!! So now, I'm feeling so very very fat.....and heavy laden with food in my tummy. But I'm also feeling so very thankful for family, for precious times together like tonite when we sang hymns around the piano...for abundant food that so many don't have...for Jesus dying on the cross for me.

Be blessed this weekend in knowing no matter where you are in life right now, you are so very loved by our Heavenly Father!!

Love n Hugs....Laura

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Old Rugged Cross

I thought of this hymn tonite:

"On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffring and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wonderous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.

In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wonderous beauty I see;
For twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died
To pardon and sanctify me.

To that old rugged cross I will ever be true,
It's shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He'll call me someday to my Home far away,
Where His glory forever I'll share.

So I'll cherish the old rugged cross
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it someday for a crown.

Father, forgive me for my sins today...and those I committ over and over again.
Forgive me when the attractions of the world lure me away from my quiet times with You.
Forgive me for not truly dwelling in my mind of the beauty this week of the powerful act
that happened so many years ago when You gave us Your only Son to die for us...for me....the blood that was spilt for my transgressions. Forgive me Father, for the times I'm not true to the cross, Lord...I don't feel worthy at times to be called to my Home far away. Forgive me for not clinging tighter to You when I should be...and forgive me for the times I haven't been clinging to that old rugged cross. Father...I love You...thank You for not giving up on me. In Jesus' Holy Name...Amen.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Birds

How could I forget this sign? The birds are singing in the trees again....
And fat fat fat....I mean, FAT robins are everywhere!!!!

I just might have to wake Gabe up early from his nap to go for a walk!!

One more sign

UPDATE: You know spring as officially arrived when the neighbor man is mowing his grass!!!

Signs of Spring

How we know that spring has arrived here in Forrest,IL:

1- The furnace hasn't run all day!!!
2- The sun is getting stronger because the kitchen is croakin' hot with the sun beatin' down in the skylights. In the winter, the kitchen is cold because of the wasn't cold today!
3- Gabe didn't get cold hands and feet all morning even with just a tshirt on. (he has not one ounce of fat on his body and gets cold easily)
4- The grass is getting greener!!!
5- My brother the landscaper says it's beautiful to be working outside today!
6- Kids are skating boarding by with no coats on.
7- Spring break started at 2:00 today for my hubby!!!! No school til April!!! Woohoo!!!
8- A custom-made oak "half door" that blocks the stairs to the basement in our kitchen opens easily. (when it's cold, the latch gets tighter than all get out)
9- My coffee is making me so hot right now I had to put on a pair of shorts ;)
10- Beautiful yellow blooming daffodils arrived at my house last from American Cancer Society.
They are gorgeous...and make me think how joyful Blake is in Heaven...and that we should have joy as our garment today too.

I always think of this verse in the just seems like the earth does truly sing to it's Maker when it brings forth beauty in the trees, flowers, etc. Lotsa color and warmth after such a long winter of cold and dreariness.

"You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you." Isaiah 55:12

Love n Hugs...Laura

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Our kids are obcessed with bubbles....I kid you not...both of them!!!

Gabe loves his bath but it becomes routine that his mouth/nose area will be wiped 10 zillion times before bathtime is over as he eats, inhales, sucks up, snorts, you name it with the bubbles in his bath. (Dana, if you are reading this...forgive my english skills that a run-on sentence or what?!?!?! ) He also loves to push up the chair to the sink when I'm washing dishes...and stick his hands in the bubbles.

Lil Miss Ellie is hooked on something different...blowing bubbles. Her latest invention. I have to say, this is such a fun age (she just turned 4 mths) when they start discovering their hands, grabbing things, etc. She has becoming a bubble blowing machine. All the much so that she was super loud in church tonite!!! She was distracting everyone around us, so I finally took her out. *sigh* it's soooooooooooo cute and I honestly don't remember Gabe ever doing it as much as she does. I did videotape her but haven't figured out yet how to download that onto my blog....soooo, maybe someday I'll find the time to share it with you.

Hey! Spring is officially tomorrow!!! Yipee!!! And for those of you living around Fairbury/Forrest area, don't forget: The annual FFA Hogroast and Auction tomorrow night at 6ish (I think)!!!

Love n Hugs....and bubbles ;) Laura

Call to Prayer-Part 2

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Ephesians 6:10-13

It goes on to say to dress up with this:
1-Gird your waist with the truth
2- Put on the breastplate of righteousness
3-Shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace
4- Take up the shield of faith
5-Take up the helmet of salvation
6- Take up the sword of the Spirit--the Word of God

Pastor then did a magnificent illustration...He had a guy stand in the front of church, showed what happens when shot with a gun (the firery darts of the wicked one)...he fell to the ground...injured...possibly dead, depending on how bad the hit. He then had the guy dress up in a heavy coat (the armor of God) and shot him again with the same gun...all shots bounced off.
Shouldn't we then my friends, be praying always....and dressing ourselves daily up in the Lord's Armor? If we forget and slack an inch...satan will take us a mile.

My favorite verse:
"Finally, brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might."
It is truly by His might alone...not ours. Hallelujah! Thank you Father!!

Love n Hugs...Laura

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Great Peace

"Great peace have they who LOVE thy law: and nothing shall offend them."
Psalm 119: 165

This verse just really hit me tonite. If we are so in love with Jesus and The Word...and continually press in and deeper still, then we will have no time to judge others. If we don't have time to judge others and how they live, then they can't offend us with what they do. We will have no time to be offended if we are busy loving Jesus!

Be are precious in His sight!

Love n Hugs...Laura

The Birthday Continues

Wow....guess my birthday wasn't done.

Last night when I got to bed, Jase had left a card on my pillow.

Then, I had a beautiful dream about Blake...God is so good to give us such "real like" dreams!

This morning, I got more happy belated bday phone calls.

This afternoon, I got many more emails...and one more card awaiting me from my hubby on the keyboard when I opened up the armoire. What a guy.....

The birthday gift from him comes next week: He's taking me back to the fantasy suites in Clinton, IL that we enjoy so much. AND we're doing lotsa good eatin', shopping,movies, relaxing...etc..with no kids! yipee! ( we love our kids....but treasure our alone times ;)

Thank you to all who made my 25th a memorable one! My big brother reminded me this morning too that my insurance will now go!!!

Guess what?!?!?! Our grass is turning green! Yesssssssss! The first day of spring is thursday...and it definatley smells like spring here with all this can just smell the ozone ;) And I always know that spring is right around the corner when my big brother Dan goes back to work full time. He is a landscaper that gets laid off in the winter other than snow plowing, etc. So this morning, we chatted while he worked in the drizzling rain. Boy do I love being a stay at home mama, a great perk of the job to sometimes get to choose to stay inside ;)

I also just want to add how much I love my family and growing up with my brothers. So for those of you just joining me, I will fill you in and add a picture. (will someone please tell me how i add the picture by the paragraph instead the top of my post????)

Daniel is my big brother...we are the same age for a week (his birthday is next week) we always thought this was so cool growing up ;) bet my mama didn't when she was changing our diapers.

He is married to Julie and they have 2 boys, Ethan and Gage. He's the landscaper and a stinkin' good one too I must add ;)

Joshua is then after me....he is the world's greatest electrician among many other things. He is a year younger than me.

Jacob is the cowboy.....he does concrete work, farmwork, and rides bulls. Yup, that's the boy that makes me catch my breath when I watch him ride. To think, I always wanted to marry a cowboy. Now I know why God had other's so hard to watch those you love!! He is dating a super sweet barrel racer....By the name of Randi...we call her Ray-Ray and she is the most adorable cowgirl you ever saw ;) We're looking forward to all their rodeos this summer.

Isaac is the youngest...and the biggest. Dan and Josh are 6'7 and I think finally done growing (complete with size 14 shoes) but Isaac is still growing, a junior in highschool and a big 6'4ish....can't imagine how tall he's gonna get. He's dating a cute lil chick named Chelsea...we're going to watch her sing in concert tonite. (that would be all of my hubby's students)

I absolutley LOVE these boys and thank the Lord I grew up the only girl. Some friends say oh it's so fun with just sisters....well ya know what?? I wouldn't trade's been the best of the best and honestly, I hope our little Miss Ellie has all brothers!!! (although, please Lord, not all as onery as Gabe....otherwise yer gonna have to start placing extra patience in my pockets!!!)

SO here's a picture of my goodlookin' TALL family....I think we've decided Jason and Jacob are the only normal sized men ;)

Happy Days to you! Blessings and Hugs!!! Love....Laura

Monday, March 17, 2008

Super Great Birthday

So today was my 25th birthday (man, that just sounds old!)...and it was super great.

Let me tell you why:

1- I got to sleep in until 9:00 cuz the kids did! yipee!

2- All 4 of my brothers, my brotherinlaw, my brother's girlfriends and my sisterlaw called me.

Then numerous calls thruout the day and into the, getting older does have it's perks!

3- My dear husband had his 1st block class (70 students!!!) call and sing over the phone.

4- Gabe climbed onto the kitchen counter and got my cell phone when i was changing Ellie's diaper and called a friend of mine 2 times and i didn't know until he called me 15 mins later to say, "Hi Laura, how are you? (my cuz/friend who we bought our house from but i hadn't talked to him for a couple wks) And I said, Good! (thought maybe he was calling to wish me a happy birthday but thought that was weird cuz we don't talk on regular basis) Then there was silence, cuz I had said I was good, but was waiting for him to tell me why he was calling. Then he said, Well, I had 2 missed calls from you. What? I didn't call you....oh wait, that must have been monkey boy....the one that snuck black bananas(ready for bread making) off the counter WITH the cell phone into his bedroom and called you on the phone while he smashed the bananas into his carpet. But happy birthday to me: he didn't smash them all!!!

5- Spent part of the day with my wonderful mama and she made me the best birthday cake ever: Chocolate cake with chocolate pudding and whipped cream and heath toffee bar bits....oh yummy! Mom: you can make me that grasshopper pie next week if you want ;) (what I usually ask for my birthday...since i am a leprachon after all ;)

6- Beautiful purple flowers from my "big sis" Kathy.....i love purple!!!

7- My hubby stayed home to spend quality time with me instead of going out to play basketball with the guys which is monday night routine.

8- Money....can't complain about that one....especially in the season of life we're in.

9- And most of all, the one that made me cry. When I checked my email tonite, there was a birthday wish from Blake. He has the birthday alarm on his email and his dear mom must still check his messages.....but the message was signed from blake.... thank you barb...i love you

10- 4 yrs ago today I got 2 slow dances with the man that became my hubby. He went along with a group of friends and I to Stone line celebrate my 21st bday...and he HATES country. But he came anyways and I was the only woman he danced with that night. He was the first man I had ever danced was purty stinkin' special ;) Thanks Jason for the awesome memories on my birthdays...yer the best of the best. I love you most.

TFTD: "SO much has been given to me, I have no time to ponder over that which has been denied." ~ Helen Keller

Heavenly Father....thank you for the beautiful day of blessings even though it was raining all day. Thank You that spring is coming right around the corner! Thank You for Your abiding love. In Jesus' Name...Amen.

Love n Hugs...Laura

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Updated Pictures of the Kids

Love n Hugs...Laura and Crew

A Call to Prayer-Part 1

Pastor preached on the importance of prayer today. How we as a church need to be constantly praying. We can never do too much. We're in a day and age that satan is constantly crouching at our back door step, and we need to be on guard...gird ourselves with The Armor...and pray without ceasing.
What does the Word say? Let me share with you just a few...

"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." Matthew 21: 22

"They (the disciples) all joined together CONSTANTLY in prayer..." Acts 1:14

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in EVERYTHING, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
*This verse speaks to my heart directly in the season of life I am in.

Heavenly Father...I thank You today God that Your love is never changing for us. Thank You Father, that Your mercies are new everyday. And thank You Father, that You continue to pull us close into Your Arms of Love when we need it most. Father, when we don't understand why people do things that hurt others tremendously...thank You that Your love covers all. And thank You for Your peace that settles into us like no one else can do for us. Father, I just lift up to You those hurting souls today and pray for extra strength to get them thru the coming days, weeks, and months. Shelter them under Your wings Father and whisper Your love to them daily so they may never forget that they are special...that they are so loved....that You will never leave them or forsake them in their time of need. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Love n Hugs...Laura

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Park Your Mind

The week has been so up and down for me. Last Friday was when I dropped Ellie and God just gave me this good reminder that our children are only on loan to us. They are His which He "gifts" to us for a season. Fears start to crowd in when I stop and think about everything that could happen to the loved ones in my life. But we can't function and live life in fear and "what ifs."

This past week I spoke to 2 different mothers who lost their young sons recently. My heart aches so for them. My mind tries to grasp and comprehend what they are feeling. But I can't...because I haven't been there. I have been down the road of suffering but not that one. Selfishly, I don't want to....But God's will is perfect and beautiful even when I don't understand it.

I've read numerous blogs the past week about people losing their loved ones just in the last couple days. I just found out a classmate of mine was diagosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma and she's supposed to walk down the aisle to her fiance this fall. Why? Why God? Why do these things happen to good people? Another friend of mine is watching the love of her life slowly go downhill with a disease that they're still not sure of. I can keep going with a huge list of people in my life that are hurting and in pain from numerous things that I don't understand. People that I've talked to this week that make my heart ache while their's does the same.

Today Jason went to visit his Gramma and his siblings during Gabe's naptime. He offered to take Ellie with him so Gramma could see her. My first instinct was to keep her home. Somehow I trick myself into thinking that I can keep my kids safer than everyone else in the world. The thought went thru my mind as they left, what if that's the last time I ever see them? What if they get in an accident and I lose my husband and my daughter?

Then I read Lysa TerKeurst's Blog today. In one of her posts she talked about "Parking Your Mind." Park it on the Word of God and trust in Him. Trust His Truth He gives us.
She also said, "God's love is too pure for my family, my husband, my children, and me not to have our best interest's in His mind. She had a couple posts about fears and how we deal with them. By parking our minds....on Him alone. For we are nothing without Him.
Even though I don't understand things in my life and others right now....I will choose to say "Blessed be Your Name" and park my mind on this:

"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the Lord, who has compassion on you." Isaiah 54:10

Love n Hugs...Laura

Friday, March 14, 2008

A Tribute to Blake Thomas Lee Hall

“The dominant characteristic of an authentic spiritual life is the gratitude that flows from trust—not only for all the gifts that I receive from God, but gratitude for all the suffering. Because in that purifying experience, suffering has often been the shortest path to intimacy with God.”
~Brennan Manning

One night earlier this week, I went out to the gravesite of a dear family friend Blake Hall. I walked around the cemetary for awhile, enjoying the quiet evening and the beautiful sunset. I sipped my coffee and looked at all the names of those who had passed on. I saw many names of those who went to Heaven while still in their youth. Those with good hearts, good spirits, and still enjoying life to it's fullest. A mother, who left 4 children and a husband behind. A boy, killed in a car accident...and finally I stopped at Blake's.
The dirt was still piled and fresh looking, not yet flattened out. I had the sudden urge to start scooping the dirt away and bring him back. Why God? Why did you have to take this precious young man who never complained for 5 years as he battled the cancer? Why do You take the good ones first? Why not me God? I complain freqently, but Blake never did. Questions continue to whirl in my mind as I stood there.
I walked away as the sun was slipping lower and sat in my car, just listening to the still night. Not far away, was Blake's tree stand. I just wish I could see him one more time, enjoying the hunt, I thought. Then I heard God's voice saying: "Laura, a beautiful sunset evening on earth is nothing compared to what I have laid up for those who love me in Heaven." And then I knew...I couldn't wish him back to this life here. God had purposes for Blake and He fulfilled them. It was His timing and not ours. Some things we will never understand. But we can rest in the promises of our Almighty Father.
One month ago today, Blake went to be with Jesus.
So today...I dedicate this song to to him. He was an incredible person who touched so many lives.
He will be in our hearts forever.

Blessings to you and yours.
Love n hugs...Laura

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Why Am I Sooooo Slow?!?!?!

I finally figured out how to make Gabe play with his toys.
You see....our child would prefer to play with everything BUT his huge collection of toys that are sooo fun and do every cool thing possible. His normal day of play consist of these items:
1-Balmex (this morning he figured out how to open it, lick it, and eat it..yum)
2-The forbidden silverware drawer that has got a dowel rod stuck down through the handles..BUT he of course has figured out how to pull all 5 at the same monkey)
3-an old hair dryer that mommy has duct taped the plug part
4-The forbidden fireplace utensils behind the couch
5- The forbidden CDs, books, DVDS, on the shelves
6- The top of the kitchen table to pour salt & pepper everywhere
7- Any of Ellie's items: burp rags, pacifier, etc
8- Open computer armoire and pull items out
9- Our shoes....he's obcessed (sp?)
10- The pantry cupboard, canned goods, etc
Sooooo, you see, this is why most days are spent of endless disciplining, spankings, etc
Today, I figured it out...FINALLY! I took a gate and corraled him in his bedroom where he has 10 million toys to play with that of course, don't usually get played with. Guess what!??!?! He played in there very happily this morning for almost an hour! Whay am I soooo slow to figure some things out??? I got so much accomplished it was scary.
Ps. The weather is beautiful here the 50s!!!....only 1 wk from tomorrow is spring!!!
Enjoy it while you can....Love n Hugs...Laura

The Folded Napkin

I thought, with Easter just around the corner, this was an interesting bit of information that I didn't know before . . .

Why did Jesus fold the linen burial cloth after His resurrection? I never noticed this.... The Gospel of John (20:7) tells us that the napkin, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave clothes. The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly folded, and was placed at the head of that stony coffin. Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, "They have taken the Lord's body out of the tomb, and I don't know where they have put him!" Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see. The other disciple outran Peter and got there first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didn't go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus' head was folded up and lying to the side. Is that important? Absolutely! Is it really significant? Yes! In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, you have to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day. The folded napkin had to do with the Master and Servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition. When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it. The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight, until the master had finished eating, and the servant would not dare touch that table, until the master was finished. Now if the master were done eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers, his mouth, and clean his beard, and would wad up that napkin and toss it onto the table. The servant would then know to clear the table. For in those days, the wadded napkin meant, "I'm done". But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table, because.......... The folded napkin meant, "I'm coming back!" He is Coming Back!

Be blessed today knowing you are so very loved by your Heavenly Father.
Love n Hugs...Laura

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mommy's Day Out

I'm rejuvinated to a whole other level. Today was my day out...with no kids...and guess what? I get it Friday too! I feel so lucky-blessed!

The car needed work done so bless my mom's heart....she came over to watch the kiddos all day (because it ended up being an all day job) This is what I did to enjoy my day:
1--First of all, instead of taking the Obrien Automotive Team Shuttle...I test drove a black 2007 Outlander...we are a part of their family since my dad does work for them so we still get discounts, etc. So today, my friend said: Take a car for the day, let me get you my newest had 25 stinkin' miles on it! can I get a hooyeah?!?!?!? THOU SHALT NOT COVET BRAND NEW CARS, Laura!! Like we would ever be able to afford that, even with our family discount!! I never should have taken it...I fell madly, deeply in love....and now I'm sad...I have never experienced this feeling of "wanting something new so bad!" Must be a test from God..."I have learned whatsover state I am in, to be content". Yes....I shall not covet.
2-Went to Great Harvest Bread Co. and had some yummy coffee and cinnamon rolls for breakfast, then bought 4 bags of yummy carbs for Mom's house and ours.
3-Went clothes shopping for myself at my favorite store: Plato's Closet....and found some fun new shorts for summer!!!! AND: they are long!!! Then come almost to my knees!!! This is so hard for me to find with my long legs....and i found more than one! Jackpot!
4--Berean Bookstore....browsing, bathroom break, and milk parlor stop ( pumping in style)
5- Shopping stop #2....Walmart.... got big boy undies and much more than I should have...but it was oh so fun ;) By this time I had a huge headache as it was 2:00 and I had forgotten to eat lunch....sooooo......
6---Last stop...Panera Bread....YUM! I had the most relaxing and yummy soup and sandwich and choc chip cookie lunch you ever saw....I ate in peace and read my Beth Moore: Breaking Free book.....but got really distracted in watching adorable twin girls ( 1 yr old) sitting next to me in their stroller, eating lunch...and started missing my kids. But what a great day!
Thank you mom....for all you do for me....for all yer yummy baking....for all your babysitting...for all the times you hang out with me...even Dodge ball tournaments! ;) it was great fun!!

Well, believe it or not...I'm pooped out! Time for bed...I'll leave you with yer TFTD (For those of you who are just joining me: Thought for the Day)

Be a light, not a judge. Be a model, not a critic. Be part of the solution not a part of the problem. Look at the weakness of others with compassion, not accusation. It's not what they are doing or should be doing thats the issue. The issue is your own chosen response to the situation and what you should be doing. If you start to think the problem is 'out there', stop yourself. That thought is the problem.

Love n Hugs...Laura

Monday, March 10, 2008

Rabbit Trails

And thus, one of the many reasons I love our little monkey boy...even despite all the strong willedness and onery monkey business he creates daily...I do so love him! Today he decided he was big enough to eat a carrot without mommy cutting it i gave in and let him be a big boy. It took him about 20 minutes to get a baby carrot mind you, he was watching his favorite movie: Hillsong Kids Worship, so he was kinda distracted...but he was chewing it so well, i was so very impressed! Then I saw the rabbit trails...on the floor, teeny tiny pieces of orange led a trail wherever Gabe's feet went. You see, he would chew it up so well, then have such a huge mouthful of tiny pieces, that before he would swallow, some would drop out. Okay, so maybe we'll call them rabbit droppings from a monkey....ha ha! It was too stinkin' cute.. I had to share. I have decided after much counsel with the ever so great Jody Laughlin--mother to 3 boys--somebody give her a big hoo-yeah!...that I shall wait to potty train Gabe the Babe until after his 2nd birthday...possibly longer...middle of summer maybe. It is much supported by my mama, so what more counsel do I need after consulting with a mother of 3 boys and a mother of 4 boys?? (okay maybe I just wanted to procrastinate longer ;)

Little Miss Ellie is changing so still amazes me how fast the time goes and how quickly they grow up before our eyes. With Gabe, I couldn't wait to see all the new phases, stages, etc....with her, I want to make it slow down! Although, we are looking forward to this summer when she's crawling, sitting, etc. She's kinda acting like she's trying to find her thumb and suck it. And ya know what? Jase and I are encouraging it! We praise her and encourage her when we see it. We have decided the binky is stinky and it's a royal pain to keep track of . And personally, I think it's much more germy than the thumb. So who ever thought we'd be encouraging our kids to be thumb suckers?!?! Maybe cuz Gabe was so easy to break of it, take his monkey away, and he doesn't suck it. Give it back and he sucks it. Therefor: Monkey will not be going to school with him!

Jason, my love, is currently working on having the biggest aphro (sp?) I ever saw. For those of you that know him...have you ever seen him when he's way overdue for a haircut?? His hair is super thick and now it's giving him a whole new look(because he also lets his goatee get scruffy too to match the length of hair and chops)...I should take a picture. Tomorrow night the faculty at PC High School are having a dodgeball tournament and Jase got asked to play...I can't wait to see that hair soaring thru the air with him ;) I shall never forget the sight I'm sure...and guess what, he had a haircut appt tomorrow night, but asked me to change it, so he could play the game. I think he's smoking something, he never changes his appts!!!

"The proof of love is in the works, Where love exists, it works great things.
But when it ceases to act, It ceases to exist." ~ Saint Gregory the Great

Love n Hugs...Laura

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Thorns

Today our dear little monkey boy patted his bum and said "Poo! I Poo!" He's not 2 yrs old until May and I was going to push off the start of new adventures until then. You know: the delightful adventures of potty training with boys?!?!? But, I must say...if he can tell me he has poo, then maybe I should direct him where to properly fling it as they say in monkey land ;) I am getting very tired of changing 2 kids diapers and very tired of watching our money go towards just that...but it makes me very tired to think about trying to tackle the feat of potty training an onery monkey boy. *sigh* I believe I will stop thinking upon it tonite...get some sleep....and ponder it again tomorrow. Wish me luck!
I saw a beautiful sunset tonite as I sat outside to drink my coffee...and it was perfectly windstill...and the birds were singing...I think they're telling us that spring is coming soonly!!

I will leave you with this prayer tonite.
"Dear God...
I have never thanked You for my thorns. I have thanked You a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorns. Teach me the glory of the cross I bear; teach me the value of the thorns. Show me that I have climbed closer to You along the path of pain. Show me that, through my tears the colors of Your rainbow look much more brilliant. In Jesus' Name..Amen"

Another week to live for Jesus...may it be a week full of dancing for Him instead of whining for us. Happy Monday tomorrow! Love n Hugs....Laura

Saturday, March 8, 2008


C. S. Lewis describes the urgency of learning this lesson:

"Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung, possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully around with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket-safe, dark, motionless, airless-it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable."

I'm finding out the one thing that I so earnestly want to do sometimes the hardest task to accomplish on some days. I want to love someone even when I don't like them. I want to radiate love in all I do even when I don't feel like shining. I want to love like Jesus even when sometimes I feel it's so impossible.

"Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit." Peter Ustinov

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear..." 1 John 4:18

Hava good weekend. Love n Hugs...Laura

Friday, March 7, 2008

Trusting God...Completely

Well, my mind is still in a all happened so fast. This morning I dropped Ellie...yup, that's me, a failure of a mom. I kept asking God on the drive back home from the hospital, why God? Why did you even let me have kids if I can't take care of them properly....and then it spiraled...Why God? Why did you let me get married if I can't always be the wife that you're calling me to be to Jason? Why can't I be that good little wife that keeps her mouth shut even when she doesn't agree with her husband? Why do I rock the boat and test the waters...why do I do it time after time instead of learning my lesson the first time? And then He puts His arms around me and whispers sweet peace to me...and reminds me: I'm a work in progress and He's not thru with me yet.

But minds not at peace yet with the fact that I dropped my daughter. I had been discipling Gabe (another whole saga of the last couple weeks) and just gotten up from talking to him on the floor, had Ellie in my arms to get ready to feed her and just that quickly, I tripped over a BIG john deere tractor. (one of my favorite presents that my brother Joshua gave Gabe for Christmas and now i HATE it!) I was halfway down to the floor before my hands just flew out to catch myself and Ellie went BAM on her back. She instantly started screaming. I picked her up and held her so close and her face went deathly white. I then frantically amidst my sobbing, called me mom who said she was on her way but to call 911 first. I completley forgot to call Jason (bad wife again) 911 kept me on the phone and calmed me down until the first responders from our town got here (they come before the ambulance gets here...I was so thankful for this...what a Godsend!) Ellie calmed down pretty quickly until the first responders took her and held her and checked her out, then she got angry again. She was hungry and needed a nap, but also I'm sure, scared mostly. It was amazing how quick it all went and how quickly they all showed up. There was about 4 or 5 first responders then 3 or 4 EMTS that came too, our living room was full of people that were incredible! Some of them entertained Gabe and the others kept talking to us and looking Ellie over. She acted fine, so they said it was up to us what to do. We needed to call our Doctor's office first and she if we could get her but they were out of the office today so we needed to go to the ER to get her checked out. They gave us the choice of us driving or going by ambulance and they all assured us it would probably be better if we took her as she was acting fine, but by law they would to have had strapped her down flat on the board and she probably would have gotten mad and more upset. So we took off and she checked out fine there too. She nursed fine and when she was done eating, she pulled away and just started cooing and me and smilng and blowing bubbles. (her latest invention) then for the next 15 min while we waited for the doc to come in, she did the same to Jason....just was all smiley and giggling. The ER doc came and in said she looked fine and felt fine, no need for xrays. The nurse was an older one and was so sweet. Before we left she came in and wanted me to know that she had dropped one of her babies before and I'm not a bad mom. She said, don't beat yourself up, you'd be surprised how many of us do and the babies are fine. She said, there bones are still soft and they can actually take falls better than at our adult age. Whew! It helped a bit....but i'm still a mess.

Now we're home and she's sleeping peacefully....but I'm still thinking: What if something happens later on down the road because we didn't get xrays and catch something? What if she starts seizuring? (I had small seizures from a fall when I was younger that I didn't report to my parents) What if she just quits breathing? I'm honestly trying to trust God here...and give all my anxietized heart to Him. I know our children are on loan to us and I need to keep remembering that. I just wish I could quit fearing the worst and just trust God completely...Until then, please pray for Ellie that her little body, her head, her back would all be okay. This song was in my mind today on the way to the hospital.

Aaron Shust \ My Savior My God
I am not skilled to understand What God has willed, what God has planned
I only know at His right hand Stands one who is my Savior
I take Him at His word and deed Christ died to save me; this I read
And in my heart I find a need Of Him to be my savior
That He would leave His place on high And come for sinful man to die
You count it strange, so once did IBefore I knew my Savior
My Savior loves, My Savior lives My Savior's always there for me
My God: He was, my God; He is My God is always gonna be
Yes, living, dying, let me bringMy strength, my solace from this spring;
That He who lives to be my King Once died to be my Savior
That He would leave His place on high And come for sinful man to die
You count it strange, so once did I Before I knew my Savior

Father, I just come before you now and say Thank you. Thank you Father for your love
for us that never ends. Thank you for Your arms that surround us when we need it most.
Thank you Father for the blessing of our children and help me to remember Father...that
they are on loan to us and You have a perfect plan for us and them. Father, thank you for
the peace that You bestow that passes all understanding...and thank You for being my Rock to stand upon when the storms of life come. I love You Abba Father. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Foot Washing

Our pastor preached an awesome sermon the other day about foot washing.
Remember when Jesus washed His disciples feet? Pastor said we all have our dirty "feetness" about us. Our weaknesses, our bad attitudes, gossiping, etc...and it's easy to point out everyone else's faults. Our job as Christians is to be a servant and help wash your brother and sister's feet in love. Foot washing requires love even when you don't "like" the person. We don't actually have to wash a person's foot...though highly recommended ;) But simply by lending a helping hand, sending an encouraging note, making a phone call, giving someone a ride, taking a meal, etc. This means foot washing won't always necesssarily be a great time, but when we step out of our comfort zones and show love to those around us...we can be more like Jesus.

The Time has come...

The time has come...time to actually do it....start a blog. I thought I'd never have time what with all the other blogs I read...but today, I've decided to join the blogging world. Ready or not, here I come!!

Thought for the Day:
"I can only keep trying to be faithful, even though I feel faithless most of the time. What else can I do but keep praying to you; even when I feel dark; to keep writing about you, even when I feel numb; to keep speaking your name, even when I feel alone. Come, Lord Jesus, come. Have mercy on me, a sinner. Amen." ~ Henri Nouen