Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Supreme Climb

Taken from My Utmost for His Highest:
The Supreme Climb
"Take now your son . . . and offer him . . . as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you" —Genesis 22:2
A person’s character determines how he interprets God’s will (see Psalm 18:25-26 ). Abraham interpreted God’s command to mean that he had to kill his son, and he could only leave this traditional belief behind through the pain of a tremendous ordeal. God could purify his faith in no other way. If we obey what God says according to our sincere belief, God will break us from those traditional beliefs that misrepresent Him. There are many such beliefs which must be removed-for example, that God removes a child because his mother loves him too much. That is the devil’s lie and a travesty on the true nature of God! If the devil can hinder us from taking the supreme climb and getting rid of our wrong traditional beliefs about God, he will do so. But if we will stay true to God, God will take us through an ordeal that will serve to bring us into a better knowledge of Himself.
The great lesson to be learned from Abraham’s faith in God is that he was prepared to do anything for God. He was there to obey God, no matter what contrary belief of his might be violated by his obedience. Abraham was not devoted to his own convictions or else he would have slain Isaac and said that the voice of the angel was actually the voice of the devil. That is the attitude of a fanatic. If you will remain true to God, God will lead you directly through every barrier and right into the inner chamber of the knowledge of Himself. But you must always be willing to come to the point of giving up your own convictions and traditional beliefs. Don’t ask God to test you. Never declare as Peter did that you are willing to do anything, even "to go . . . both to prison and to death" ( Luke 22:33 ). Abraham did not make any such statement— he simply remained true to God, and God purified his faith.
Love n Hugs...Laura

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

At the End of the Day

Today Mom, the kids, and I made a trip to Watseka.
I met up with my good friend Dara at Promises Coffeehouse...not only did I get some great time with her, but saw all my friends that work there and had some awesome coffee and dessert!
Lil Miss Ellie got lotsa attention fromt the gals there...and towards the end she let the whole place know her newest activity: screaming, shrieking, laughing, giggling: ALL-IN-ONE ;) yup, you got it....once she gets started there's no stopping her. It's adorable, really it is, and we just love what a happy baby she is BUT....she has been blessed with a GREAT set of lungs...soooooooo everyone hears her within miles around! Good thing she takes a pacifier and we can stick it in quicklike ;) Mom and Gabe had went to Walmart while we were there, then came back and got us and we went to visit my Dad where he's been working at a retirement/assisted living center for my Uncle Ken. He is repairing what the big flood damaged. They had torn everything out and now he's installing cabinets, trimming out, etc....
After lunch with some sweet older people, we headed back towards home. We decided to stop in at the clinic I used to work for in Gilman and got to see some old friends/co workers.
After getting back to mom and dad's and putting the kids down for late naps, I headed over to Chenoa to surprise Jason with supper. Play practice for the musical Oklahoma was in full swing. It's always fun to see the before and after with the kids. Then went back to Mom and Dad's to spend some time with them and the boys. In the middle of watching a movie and eating a choc chip cookie, I discovered a chocolate stain on my sweatshirt....had no idea how or when it got there, but Mom made the comment, wonder where it went and where else it got?
Got home tonite and found it on little Miss Ellie's white shirt along with stains from pooping up her back while in her car fun!

So, at the end of the thinks these things before I drift off to sleep:

1- When the floods of life hit us, how bad is the damage? Is our foundation built on solid ground? How often do we have to be "gutted out" and "re-installed"?
24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” Matthew 7:24-26

2-At the end of our days, how spotted and stained are our garments with sin? Are they big stains, messy smears, or small specks?
Isaiah 1:18“ Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “ Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool."

Love n Hugs...Laura

Monday, April 28, 2008

My Purpose

"My determined purpose is to be my utmost for His highest— my best for His glory." ~Oswald Chambers

I'm determined to keep shining...even when I feel dim.

I'm determined to keep smiling...even when I feel poopy.

I'm determined to keep pressing on...even when satan pulls me back.

I'm determined to trust Him...even when I can't see.

I'm determined to hold fast to the right...even when wrong is on all sides.

I'm determined to keep the faith...even when others have given it up.

I'm determined to have hope...even when it seems lost.

I'm determined to love...even when it's hardest.

I'm determined to choose joy...even when I don't feel.

I'm determined to utmost for my Highest...for His glory alone.

Love n Hugs...Laura

Tears of the Saints

This is a powerful song sung by Leeland...he opened for Casting Crowns the other night.
Just wanted to share it with you.

May Jesus be shining thru us always.

Love n Hugs...Laura

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Blueberry Coffeecake

A favorite at our house and those we host!

3 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
1 c sugar
1 c butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 c sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 can pie filling (can use your choice, our favorite is blueberry)
*crumb topping: 1/2 c granulated sugar, 1/2 c flour, 2 T. melted butter

In large mixing bowl, combine flour, bp, soda, and sugar. Cut in butter as for pie dough until crumbs form. Add beaten eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. Mix until batter is smooth and creamy. Spread half of batter in greased jelly roll pan. Spread pie filling over batter. Drop remaining batter by spoonfuls evenly over blueberries. Using 2 forks, spread batter lightly to cover as much of pie filling as possible. If some filling shows, it's okay. Combine crumb ingredients and stir with fork to make crumbs. Sprinkle over batter. Bake at 375 for 40 min. Can also drizzle with powdered sugar frosting while still warm. Enjoy!

Love n Hugs...Laura

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Slow Fade

" Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he
meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper. "
~Psalm 1:1-3

"Read carefully the above verses: Notice how the man is walking, then standing, then sitting. When we fall it is a slow fade. A man's house doesn't crumble in one day....marriages don't crumble in one's a slow fade. It happens so slowly, little by little, that you almost don't see it happening. Don't let that happen with you. " ~Lead singer of Casting Crowns

Last night I had the oppurtunity to go to the Casting Crowns concert in Bloomington with my brother Isaac and 3 of his friends. It was the most amazing 3.5 hours of worship and ministry...just a taste of Heaven. I was so blessed by their music, their hearts for worship, their humble performance, their words of ministry, their prayers, and their love for God. But also, I was so deeply blessed to be worshipping beside and with 4 incredible high school students. We had a great night of McDonalds for supper, the waiting for the concert, the concert, then the crispy cremes stop on the way home. I felt like I was back in the days of hanging out with Youth for Christ kids ;) I miss those days...I pray someday soon it will be here at Prairie Central.

I cannot begin to tell you how awesome it was to share this experience with my brother and his was a Friday night and they could have been out doing things who knows what high schoolers do now days....but they chose to be in the presence of their Almighty Father. We had moments of our arms around each other praying and we had moments of hands raised in surrender and worship....and there are no words to describe...only tears just flowed and heart swelled. I did not want to leave that sacred moment of time.

"Precious memories, how they linger, How they ever flood my soul;
In the stillness of the midnight, Precious, sacred scenes unfold."
~J.B.F. Wright

If you get the oppurtunity, this christian music group is well worth the time and money to go see them live...and well worth buying their music! They are an incredibly annointed group and not only is their talent is there ministry. There is no doubt that God is blessing them BIG! They radiate Jesus!

Love n Hugs....Laura

Friday, April 25, 2008

The List Continues

Thankful for...
21- Freedom to serve God
22- Friends
23-Springtime beauty
24-phone calls from someone far away
25-prayers from loved ones
26-accountability partners
27- Peace that passes all understanding
28- Healing
29- music

" Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms." Psalm 95:2

To Luke and Lisa

Today is the day I dedicate a song to my dear friends....
To the Artsy Volleyball Coach and His Sporty Librarian:
Just for You:
Hava great weekend everyone!!!
Love n Hugs....Laura

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Are You Hooked Up?

Yesterday Mom, the kids, Barb, and Keegan and I decided to make a trip over to Pontiac to McDonalds and Walmart. I know, I know, all you who know me, know that I DO NOT take my kids shopping with me....BUT my dear mama said, (after I drug and drug and DRUG my feet) it won't be that bad, I'll be here to help keep the monkey under control. Ha....yeah that's happenin. But it did happen...we had alot of fun...and Gabe didn't yell too loudly or whine more than usual. (we are having huge issues with mr. stubborn and "I want my way" child right now.) if only spanking and discipline would work. You know what I would love?!?!?! If I only had to spank once and the rest of the day that would be enough to straighten him out.....but doesn't work that way with Gabe the Babe. So I shall continue to pray harder than ever over this son of ours. I love him dearly...I just wish I could figure out what exactly is most effective in helping him listen and obey.
Anyways....this wasn't supposed to be a story about Gabe. On our way over we saw a bad train wreck. It was right alongside Old Route 66. Coming up to it we could see about 5 freight cars missing from the MIDDLE of the train. How weird! On one side of the tracks, 4 cars were laying on their side in the field and wheels were everywhere! On the other side, a freight car laid on it's side just feet from the road.....thankfully, as far as we know, no cars were hit. It just looked horrible....the gas guys were already there, the railroad company, the telephone guys, cops, you name it...they were all there. When we came back thru on our way home, about 8 oversized load semis were there with big cranes to lift the would have been great to sit and watch them clean it up....but there were so many people around we didn't. It was just so weird that the rest of the train was still on the tracks and the 5 cars from the middle had jut unhooked or broken. Made me think of this:
1- Are we hooked up securely with our Conductor?
2- Are we in unison with our fellow freight cars?
3- Are we are the right track?
4- Are we traveling at the right speed?
5- Are we attentive and aware to our surroundings?
6- Is our train headed in the right direction?
If not...we will crash, wreck, burn, and be out of control.
"...Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul...
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground." Psalm 143:8&10
Love n Hugs...Laura

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Healthy Stuff

So last night at 9:30 pm I decided to put to good use the 2 bananas i had left that were darkening rapidly. I made these yummy banana bars with whole wheat instead of white and they were so yummy as I tested them shortly after taking them outa oven. Only problem was, I had taken them out too soon (don't ask me why I didn't do the toothpick test...okay, wait, maybe because the recipe called it bars and not cake!) so after eating 3 pieces and declaring it not done on top level of bars, i turned oven back on at 11 pm and baked them 10 min longer.....not quite as soft and yummy as before but least we won't be growing any worms in our tummies now at least. then today, i turned my healthy bars into not so healthy by adding homemade cream cheese frosting. they are pretty stinkin' good for having 2 cups of whole wheat flour in them!! but the real verdict is: what does my mama say about them? she is the real inspector ;)

TFTD: "It's not what all a man has, but what has him." B. Johnson

Love n Hugs...Laura

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mr. Clean and I

So Mr. Clean and I got real intimate this morning....VERY...let me tell ya.
Last night, I sat down and wrote a list of things to accomplish today and wow....when I make
lists, I do so much better!

Laundry continues....I know we only have 2 kids, but it's season changing so that means out with the old and in with the new counting garage sale findings....which MUST be washed. We also wash things when we get them from the store...I know maybe we're weird, but my mama taught me it and it stuck...once you do something for so long you think the other way is gross!

Gabe and I got all the vaccuming done....he was in heaven, this boy still loves to clean praise the Lord!!! AND we got all the ceiling fans/light fixtures cleaned!!!! (every room in our house except the bathroom has one....we love it, but hate cleaning them.) AND we got all the windowsills cleaned out with good ol Mr. Clean too.....cuz once we start opening these windows, there's no turning back and the winter dirt MUST got real interesting when Gabe got tired of doing his own cleaning and tried to clean right in Mommy's path.......*sigh* I will continue to be thankful for this stage ;) We also got a yummy lunch made and sat down and ate with Daddy in the middle of all of it.

Whew....I'm sooooooooooooooooo thankful for naptime.....I've got Ellie on a schedule where she naps at Gabe's naptime too so that I can have some quiet time....and coffee with blueberry scones today.... ;) yum!

Anyways.....Mr. Clean and I getting intimate reminds me of my relationship with Jesus. How I need to be in constant step with him to stay pure and holy. You can always tell when Mr. Clean hasn't been out and about for awhile at our house....things getting grimey and grungy lookin' and sometimes get a "film" or (layer of dirt). So it is with our lives....if we don't stay in tune with Jesus and keep Him our "Mr. Clean"...we will become grimey and grungy and get a layer of dirt from the world upon us and we don't function and live as fully and healthily as we should and could. Mr. Clean always leaves a wonderful smelling aroma at our house too...and likewise with Jesus. If we let Him be our cleaning agent, we will radiate and have lovely "Stink good" about us too.

"Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to LIFE. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ." 2 Corinthians 2:14-17 (NKJV)

Love n Hugs...Laura

Monday, April 21, 2008

Felt with Heart

"The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or touched---
they must be felt with the heart." ~Helen Keller

I have this inside a frame of a picture of Jason and I when we were courting...oh those days went by far too quickly. We are in that season of life that I love my children....but I look at that picture often and think: we were so carefree and had no stressors. I felt like I did millions of loads of laundry today (it's 9:45 pm and the washer/dryer are still running), Gabe fought me to eat his lunch, he seemed to need extra attention today and I was trying to get a meal fixed to take to a friend who had a baby. I rearranged Ellie's room, I cleaned out her closet, Mom and I took the kids for a walk, had a short quiet time, took the meal to friend, dropped kids off at Mom's, ate quick supper,I did a piano lesson......the list goes on. Hubby is now eating his supper of grilled chicken salad at looked good, so i'm eating again too (this can't be good on our digestive systems to be eating this hibity at this time of night, I'm thinkin') and i'm finishing it off with the most incredible apple strudel that my mama made...she makes the best!!! Thanks Mom! when i grow up, i still want to be like you ;)

It's so true...the best things have to be felt with the heart. How many times do I actually stop and "feel"? When I cuddle my kids close, I linger longer....feeling this season. I don't always clean up the messes as quickly as I used to, but I get down in it and play along. For this season shall quickly be a vapor. Soon they will be like the 3 little boys that get off the bus and walk past our house everyday....their day will not be just mine, but it will be shared with someone else. So I must linger longer in these moments...and not rush them, but feel and love.

....reflecting back to that picture of Jason and's so good for me to keep it on the bathroom counter. A constant reminder that I need to love him still now like I did back then. Give him the time he needs instead of getting caught up in life. Instead of being short and frustrated after a long day...bite my tongue more often and remember: "Quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger...forgive and love." (James 1) For this season too shall soon be gone...

Love n Hugs...Laura

The List Continues

The thankful list continues....
6-The birds singing
7-Smell of fresh cut grass
8- Our church family
9- My mom:My best friend
10-The old rugged cross
11- Friends that call to check on you
12- cup of coffee
13- Naptime: Quiet time
14- snuggles from Gabe
15- Back massages from hubby
16- heart to heart talks with brothers
17- the gentle breeze blowing in our open windows
18- long walks
19- food on our table
20- sunsets: the beauty of the Creator

Sunday, April 20, 2008


I found this on someone's blog today...SRD: Seizure response dog.
Go to Wikipidea and check it cool is that?!?!?!
God was thinking of us in more ways than one when he gave us animals.

We enjoyed a relaxing evening at my parents doing a cookout, riding the four wheeler, and hanging out with some friends. AND enjoying this beautiful weather! Thank You Father!!
I just love my family so much and feel so blessed to have the family I do. We are far from the perfect family....we've had our share of heartaches and storms...but God is faithful to provide unbounded grace. And maybe that's why I appreciate my family more and more every day...because thru all the crappy times in life, we still stick together and love each other....even when we don't "like" each other. We mess up alot and we learn as we go...but at the end of the day, we still hug and know how loved we are. I pray that Jason and I can raise our family up to know this close knitness.


Dancing in the Rain

I got an email today that really spoke to what my heart has been feeling lately.
It said these simple words:

"Life isn't about all the storms, but it's about how to dance in the rain."

Thank You Father for this simple but so important of a reminder!

We had an awesome morning at church, great sermon, and Jason and I went up for prayer just to have a renewed desire in our hearts to serve Jesus and each other with a greater passion. I'm expectant to see what God will do in the following weeks and excited to watch things happen in our home.
After lunch, we put Gabe down for his usual naptime. He would not go to sleep....was jumping in bed like a crazy boy, singing, yelling, and carrying on, so I finally went in and talked to him. I thought maybe he was hyper and thought quiet talking would settle him. But when I knelt down to get at his level he just jumped higher, had a huge smile and just started jabbering a blue streak into my face.....i couldn't understand a word he said but his face absolutley glowed like he was the happiest boy in the world. I said, " Honey, what are you doing?" He didn't say a word to me, but his grin got bigger, his jumps got higher and he started raising his hands in the air and then looked me straight in the eyes as he did this. I caught on quick. I said, "Gabriel, are you praising Jesus?" He shook his head yes and started clapping his hands. That was completley fine with me if he wanted to praise God before going to sleep so I left him still carrying hour later he was finally quiet. What a blessing this boy is even with all his oneriness.....There is nothing that makes me happier than to see our son do this....and if it makes my heart swell, I can't imagine what our Heavenly Father must feel in His ;)

Thank You Father for these precious gifts of children.....we want to raise them up to serve You, God, and be mighty warriors in Your kingdom. May everything we do in "growing them up" be glorifying to You. In Jesus' Name...Amen.

Love n Hugs...Laura

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Heart Cry

"After years of hearing the heart cry of women, I am convinced beyond a doubt of this: God wants to be loved. He wants to be a priority to someone. How could we have missed this? From cover to cover, from beginning to end, the cry of God's heart is, "Why won't you choose me?" It is amazing to me how humble, how vulnerable God is on this point. "You will find me," says the Lord, "when you seek me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13). In other words, "Look for me, pursue me--I want you to pursue me." Amazing. As Tozer says, "God waits to be wanted."

~excerpt taken from Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge

Sometimes I get angry at God when I don't understand why certain things keep happening over and over again that frustrate or hurt me. I think...where are You Father? Why isn't this prayer getting answered...why do I feel pain over and over again? And then He shows me like He did tonite...."Look for Me, Child....dive into the river of life...of peace...of joy...of love. And only when you do this will everything else fall away. For when you submerse yourself in the will be submersed in Me. I will surround you, cover you, shelter you, protect you...hold you. Dive into Me with your whole heart."

Today my piano students had their first recital at a local nursing home. They were all so cute and did such a great job....I was so proud of them. They had begged me to play also, so I did...and actually got nervous......hmmmm, this means I need to get back at volunteering playing at the nursing homes, eh? Most of them were sleeping or hard of hearing, so I really shouldn't have been nervous. I think it was more that the parents were all there and it was their first time (for some of them) hearing THE piano teacher play...the one that teaches their I wanted to do well. My neck breaks out in red blotches (just like Faith Hill...glad I'm not the only one!!!) when I get nervous, excited, angry, etc....and it's there for all the world to see. So of course, this happened today and the kids noticed right away. I think in a way it made them feel better, their teacher got nervous too ;) I taught for about 6 years before I moved to Watseka, then when we moved back this past summer I started getting calls right away again. I wasn't sure I really wanted to teach again...I had loved it before but got burned out. But I'm so glad I started it up again. I love working with this kids, listening to their talent, getting to know them, and making extra money on the side.

Gabe was in tractor heaven today. We were at Mom and Dads and Dad and Joshua got a new mower so they had all 3 mowers going today...Gabe was watchin them from inside the house and kept saying: Tractor! Tractor! Isaac came in and got him after they were done, so he got his "tractor ride". Another reason why we're so glad it's getting nice out....the tractor fun starts again!!!! Yipee! Dad has an old John Deere A that Gabe loves to ride with him, and he'll make the "pop pop pop" noises really cute ;)

Lil Miss Ellie has really turned into a chatter box and "shrieker".....she is definatley a female! She is a very happy and content baby and we've been so blessed by her. I got all her spring/summer clothes out and CANNOT wait to dress her in all those cute cute outfits!!!! (and quit dressing in layers....our furnace hasn't ran for almost a wk! and we've opened windows!!!!! praise God!)

Well, time for bed.....hava great rest of the weekend.
Love n Hugs...Laura

Friday, April 18, 2008

One More Sweet Bargain

I just wanted to tell you all another reason why I love how God answers specific prayers...and why I love my Mama. Yesterday when her and I were doing yardwork, she said: You need more mulch. Lo and behold, she went up to the gas station later on and they had 12 bags of mulch on sale for $1 because they had rips in them......well we loaded those babies up and brought them to their new home. And you know what?!?!?! The mulch is in good condition, looks great, didn't matter if it had holes......what a bargain. What an awesome God. He cares about every detail in our life....from our ingrown toenails to our landscaping. Wow.....

Thank You Abba Father for loving us so specifically. Thank You that You don't miss a single detail in our lives and provide for us in so many ways that we can't count. Thank You for the beauty of spring that You give us...all the time You put into landscape of this earth to make it so beautiful for us. May we never forget to stop and realize all the gifts You give to us...even in all the small details of life.
Thank You Father for taking Blake home with You and that he has 2 legs now and is running and dancing with You. We don't understand Father why he had to leave us so soon, but we know Father Your plan is better than ours. Father, I lift up to You Blake's family...may Your hand be upon their home...may Your peace that passes all understanding surround them...may Your arms ever be holding them close...may Your hands wipe away their tears...may Your face continue to shine down upon each one of them. They are so precious and we love them so. Be with Donald, Shelby, and Skyler as they hunt this weekend...give them safe travels and good bonding time together. May Your angels surround Barb, Dakota, and Keegan until they return home. In Jesus' Name...Amen.

Earthquake! in Illinois this morning right before 5 am we experienced a quake!
I woke up thinking Jason was shaking the bed or something...I was kinda out of it, not fully awake, thinking: I wonder what that noise was...our window was open so I thought maybe a semidriver had lost his mind and forgotten how early in the morning it just really was and had used his jake brakes. Gabe woke up asking for his monkey and he doesn't usually. When I got in there he was sitting up in bed, so it must have woken him up too. We all went back to sleep, having no idea what had really happened.

Then this morning I was getting ready and my mom called asking if we had felt the earthquake. I had already forgotten the incident in the wee hours and thought she was joking until she said, no really, a clock fell over upstairs in my brother's room with a big crash, scaring them all good.
Our friends from up north by chicago called not long after her to check and make sure we were all okay as they had heard about it on the news. Wow...unbelievable!! Who woulda ever thought in Illinois we would experience such excitement? It was kinda neat to hear everyone's reactions as we were out and about today.

I had a great morning of relaxation again. Jason's mom came over to watch the kids and I enjoyed some more garage sales....drinking my coffee and enjoying homemade cinnamon rolls from a sale....driving around, no was soooooooooo nice ;) We will pause now for a story about the turkey who stole my breakfast: I brought 2 roll home last night from the sale and told Jase: one for you, one for me for breakfast....but right before going to bed, I thought it looked like he had moved both of them so i moved mine underneath the other plates of baked goods thinking that it would be safe. Were they? Oh no, that turkey hunted mine out and took them both!!! I headed back to the same sale this morning and bought 2 more...and i ate them BOTH!!!! I very much enjoyed them....and got some great deals again!

Favorite Bargains:
1-Brand new looking ireversable camoflouge coat/plain warm brown on other side...LOVE IT!!!
2-Brand new looking black leather cowboy boots for $5!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! craziness!!!!!!
3-TOO MANY baked goods (to which my husband replies, I thought you had enough food with all those platefuls that you bought, so you wouldn't miss a cinnamon roll...what?!?!?!?!!)
4- A cute brown purse for $3---it looks exactly like my friend's that she bought for $200...i kid you not!!!!!! please tell me...why do people not garage sale?!?!?!?!?! it's sooooo fun!!!!!
5- Lotsa cute clothes for the kids
6- HOT shirts for my HOT hubby...and he actually liked my selections too (always a plus)
7- a very fun teal/neon green polkadot insulated HUGE bag to do my Aldi's shopping ;) yeah!!
8-cute clothes for me
9-too many baked goods.....shall I list them all?
a.lemon bars
b.fudge filled bars
c. oversized choc chip cookies
d. blueberry, blackberry die for.....
e. oh henry bars
f. the stolen cinnamon rolls
g. 1 piece of coconut creme pie for my mom and
h. 1 piece of choc peanut butter pie for which we sat down while the kids were napping today and had great girl talk and pie......ain't my mom the best?!?!?!?!?! i do love her so!
And Cathymom......thank you for watching the kids this morning.....what a great relaxing way to spend a beautiful friday morning!!!!!!! i did save money for next weekend too...garage sales in fairbury...and some really nice ones at that.....for all you out of's worth the drive! Just give me a call and I can tell you all the good ones to hit! (hint hint, heather ;)

Right before lunch Ellie had been in her exersaucer watching her favorite PraiseBaby movie and she just started crying and fussing....totally unlike her....she had her shots yesterday so I thought maybe her legs were hurting so i picked her up.....well, well, well......her big brother decided to douse, er drown her with a water bottle and she was SOAKED!!!! poor lil chickipoo!!!! I have no idea when he did it, but her exersaucer and the floor around her was soaked too....i tell ya...this monkey boy never stops getting into mischief!!

Tonite the kids and I went to Dad and Mom's for the evening. Barb, Dakota, and Keegan came over for Monicals.....all our hubbies were occupied for the evening, so we had fun hanging out and watching Blake's Bear Hunt.....another cool movie. Was so good to see him just smiling and having a great time. That kid just never stopped smiling....he was such a blessing and still is. Keegan kept pointing to the movie saying, Bubba! it was adorable. Barb showed us some pretty neat window decals, tshirts, pins they are making in memory of him...will be neat to have those. Gabe and Keegan have alot of fun together....they are about 6 mths apart and just the cutest to watch them play. They are both very onery though and could get into alot of trouble I believe!

Well, hope you all are having a great weekend...we're sure lovin' up this spring weather!!!

Since I am in Christ, by the grace of God...
"I have been justified--completely forgiven and made righteous." Romans 5:1

Love n Hugs...Laura

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I Love My Mom

I was thinking of this song tonite......

Let me tell you why I love my mom sooooooo much:

1-She loves me unconditionally
2-She makes me yummy food ;)
3-She comes to the rescue when I'm having a bad day
4- The list could go one forever......

We started out the day by me taking Ellie in for her checkup/shots....she is such a trooper, cried a little bit and that was it! She's gonna be a tough lil cowgirl, I can see it already......
Then Mom and the kids and I went garage saling...and got some awesome bargains...I'm planning on going tomorrow too but since we have rain in the forecast I was super excited with everything I got today. I'm a HUGE garage saler!!! Then Mom and I did some yard was so beautiful out, we had great fun. Then we took naps in the afternoon after lunch, then when the kids woke up went for a long walk, stopped in at some friends, then back home to finish up yardwork, feed the kids, watch daddy mow, give kids baths, put them to bed......whew! I'm so tired......can't imagine what Mom is....She is the best of the best and I'm so thankful God gave her to be my mama. Love you Mom!

PS...And I'm still thanking God daily that he moved us closer to my family...He is so good!!

Love n Hugs...Laura

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Being Squashed

This morning I was in the bathroom, betting ready and the kids were in the living room, watching Hillsong Kids. I thought I heard Gabe say, "Hi!" But didn't comprehend right away to one else was there so it had to be Ellie. Then I heard her toys on her bouncy seat rattle loudly then her squeal. In slow motion, I processed it all in my mind, then took off running. It was a happy squeal but Ellie always is happy when her big brother is around. I still felt the need to check on them...
And sure enough, I found Gabe laying on top of her, trying to hug her, but squashing her in the process. The bouncy seat was clear down on the ground with the weight of them both and Lil Miss Ellie was red-faced, gasping for breath as he just laid there on her. I quickly pulled him off and she continued to giggle...not knowing she had been in danger.
After some discipline, I walked away...and it hit me. How often times in life I feel "squashed and weighted down" by different things but I may not always be aware of the complete danger I am in until my Jesus comes and rescues me. Sure, I may be aware of the surface squasher, but I didn't fully see the depth and danger of it all until Jesus pulled me close and whispered it into my heart. Discipline means love...and we all need it at times.
"O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways...
You hem me in--behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me..." Psalm 139:1-6
Love n Hugs....Laura

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

1000 Gifts

Today I will start my 1000 Gifts List: All the things in life that God has given me that I am thankful for. Idea shared by Holy Experience Blogspot. Would love to see one on everyone's blog!

"No gift unrecognized as coming from God is at its own best...when in all gifts we find Him, then in Him we shall find all things." ~ George McDonald

"Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world." ~John Milton

1. The sunshine today
2. Healthy kids
3. Our home
4. Food on the table
5. Husband's job be continued...until we reach 1000

Love n Hugs...Laura

Monday, April 14, 2008


"Miracles have happened when God's people come together in prayer."
~Billy Graham

Prayer is such a powerful thing...that it can produce miracles.
I kid you not...I am a living testimony.
Just in the last month, 2 awesome things happened that only God alone can do.
And what's even cooler, is all we have to do is be willing vessels and pray...believing!

#1....I have had an ingrown toenail for I don't know how long and I've refused going to the doctor because the last time I did that, I have horrible memories of him sticking a knife down the side of my toenail and I NEVER want that to happen again. So this time, I just prayed...One night I was sitting in the bathroom just staring at my toe after bumping it and thinkin' how annoying this toe is and how I'm tired of it hurting. So I prayed in Jesus' name that it would be healed...and guess what? It's healed! The red swelling disappeared and there's no pain!

#2....A medicine that I take at times will give me dizzy spells. One night I was taking them and told Jason I was so tired of feeling crappy because of them. He simply said, "Honey, just pray over your medicine. You pray over other things, do it with this." No more side effects in Jesus' name. So I did, right there, OUT LOUD, in Jesus' name, I prayed...believing. No more dizzy spells. Hallelujah! God is awesome and powerful and amazing!

PS> Jason and I keep a notebook of all healings in our household and the's so awesome to go back and read them!

Love n Hugs...Laura

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Crumbs

Today we had a visiting preacher from was an awesome day...He has been given the gift of healing....and many many were healed today of various things! Hallelujah!

I enjoyed the day...especially since my brother Daniel and his boy Gage came with us. Gage is such a little blessing boy. Let me tell you about him. He was spoken over a couple mths ago by an annointed man who has been given the gift of prophecy that he (Gage) would be a mighty man of God someday and even in his young age, people will say this is a special kid. Today, I saw the first of big blessings coming from him. A man from our church came up to us after Dan and Gage had left and told us this: " Your little nephew came running up to me today, we had never met....threw his arms around my legs and hugged me, then proceeded to put his arms up to be picked up. So I did and we had the greatest conversation. Later right before they left, he came running up to me again and gave me a big kiss and a hug...this boy was adorable." My friends, let me tell you, our nephew has just turned 3 yrs old and already he's blessing!

Tonite I was telling Jason how sometimes I struggle with being jealous of him getting to "get more out of sermons than I do". I keep busy with Gabe and Ellie during praise and worship since Jason is on the team...and even though Gabe goes to Sunday school now, sometimes I feel discombulated with either feeding Ellie, or rocking her to sleep. I know it's a season of life that will pass all too quickly, but I told him sometimes I feel like I just come home with "crumbs." And he said this: "Be thankful for the crumbs then." Man, I hate it when he comes up with such stinkin' BIG wisdom that is sooooo true.

So today Father, I thank You for the crumbs. Thank You for filling me up even when I don't always see or feel it. Help me to remember You will provide in all things. I love You Father...In Jesus' name...Amen.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


"The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It's for you I created the universe. I love you. There's only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you'll reach out and take it. Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too."
~Frederick Buechner

A Few of My Favorite Things

So this week has been a not so great week. Jason had stress at his job and my back was hurting. I'm ashamed to say I didn't treat Jason with the compassion and love he needed and deserved.
I yelled at Gabe way too many times and didn't give him the patience and love he required.
But today, I'm thankful for a few things that got me thru this week.
1--My Jesus and Coffee times: I am a "not so nice person" when I don't have these. I even had to turn a friend away this week when she showed up...I was really needing to get in the Word and be with my Jesus. And He does call us to do this at times. My Jesus is the Lover of my soul that continues to pull me into His embrace and love on me when I feel lost and sinful. He covers me and shelters me in life's storms.
**I'm also enjoying my new oversized coffee mugs from At Home birthday present ;)
2--My beautiful mom: To say I love her dearly and appreciate her more every day is hard to put in just the right words. The older I get, the more precious she is to me. Not only because she "loves on" her grandkids so well and helps out tremendously with our onery monkeyboy....but because she keeps me sane some days. She knows what it's like to have 2 small kids to take care of and back pain. She loves me even when I'm unlovable and grouchy. She's my best girlfriend...and not everyone can say that about their mama. I'm so thankful for her wisdom that encourages me and for her beautiful heart that makes me smile. And honestly...if we don't talk at least 10 times a day on the phone, my day seems not finished ;) (Jason cannot comprehend such things! ha!)
3--Our little Gabriel Paul: Strong man of God....despite all his stubborness, oneriness, and high maintence...I love him like crazy! His laugh is one of my favorite things that got me thru this week too. His giggles and cuddles are priceless.
4---Finally my man and our beautiful daughter: There are no words to describe how loved I truly feel after a hard week...after being grouchy at him...when he takes me into his arms this morning and prays with me...even when I don't deserve it. I love you Jason...more than you'll ever know. Thank you for loving me...for being my eyes when I couldn't see.
And lil miss Ellie...what a joy her giggles, cuddles, and coos are too...
A big thank you goes out to Grampa Doc for all he does for us...Thank you for being there for Jason this week, for listening, giving wisdom, and praying. We love you!!
Hava great weekend!
I read this today and it just really spoke my heart.
"God thunders marvelously with His voice; He does great things we cannot comprehend...With God is awesome majesty...He is excellent in power." Job 37

To God be the Glory...Laura

Friday, April 11, 2008

Eyes of our Eyes

“Whatever causes us to look with amazement opens “the eyes of our eyes.” We begin to see everything as gift. An inch of surprise can lead to miles of gratefulness.” ~David Steindl-Rast

Happy Friday!
Love n Hugs...Laura

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ephesians 6

Thought and prayer for Today....Ephesians 6:13-18
~John Eldredge

"Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist...
Lord, I put on the belt of truth. I choose a lifestyle of honesty and integrity. Show me the truths I so desperately need today. Expose the lies I'm not even aware I'm believing.
"...and the breastplate of righteousness in place..."
And yes, Lord, I wear your righteousness today against all condemnation and corruption. Fit me with your holiness and purity---defend me from all assaults against my heart.
"...and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace..."
I do choose to live for the gospel at any moment. Show me where the larger story is unfolding and keep me from being lax that I think the most important story today is the soap operas of this world.
" addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one..."
Jesus, I lift against every lie and every assault the confidence that you are good, and that you have good in store for me. Nothing is coming today that can overcome me because you are with me.
"...Take the helmet of salvation..."
Thank you Lord, for my salvation. I receive it in a new and fresh way from you and I declare that nothing can seperate me now from the love of Christ and the place I shall ever have in your kingdom.
"...and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God..."
Holy Spirit, show me specifically today the truths of the Word of God that I will need to counter the assaults and the snares of the enemy. Bring them to mind throughout the day.
..."And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."
Finally, Holy Spirit, I agree to walk in step with you in everything---in all prayer as my spirit communes with you throughout the day.
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against the flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:10-12

May you be blessed today knowing that you walk in the authority of Christ.
Love n Hugs....Laura

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


· The reason God justifies and sanctifies by grace is so that the glorious, self-sustaining all-sufficiency of his own fullness would be displayed and marveled at in the world.—John Piper

The Solid Rock

By Edward Mote
"My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name.

When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale, My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood, Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my Hope and Stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound, O may I then in Him be found!
Dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne!


Today I'm giving up trying to fight the battle. I've been having back pain since I was 16 yrs old. For 9 years I have just lived with it...excruiating at times, others not so bad. When I was pregnant with Gabe, it became horrible sciatic pain the last 4 months. I couldn't turn over in bed, or get up without pain shooting down my right leg. Sometimes, my leg would just give out and I couldn't put any weight on the right side. As soon as he was born, it left. With Ellie, the same thing happened the last trimester. This time it happened in my left side also and I couldn't pick up Gabe without horrible pain shooting down my legs or them giving out. Once again, when Ellie was born, the sciatic pain left. I was so thankful to be able to function normally again.

This morning I woke up in alot of pain. I got out of bed and pain shot down my left leg...and it kept giving out on me. I thought, whoa, I know I'm not pregnant, so what's up with this? It hurt to left both kids this noon it was horrible. I'm not one that is big on taking meds (tylenol, etc) So I'm finally going to the doctor tomorrow. I guess I kept thinking I could be tough and deal with it. But looking back, there's probably so many things I have done bad to my back without thinking. I grew up on a dairy farm and I remember doing chores for years...I don't ever remember anyone tell me to lift with my arms and legs. I worked on a pig farm for awhile too, old enough to know how to use the right muscles properly, but I still think the long days of pressure washing buildings and lifting so many heavy things took it's toll.

When it hurts to lift my kids and my legs give out, this scares me. I want to be able to take care of my kids and play with them. So today, I'm gonna quit trying to be tough and get my rear into the doctor. I ask that you would please pray for good reports (I've known so many who have had to get back surgery and that scares me too). And today, I'm going to choose God's perfect Love for me over fear. And today, I'm going to choose to stand on the solid rock...and lean on His holy name.

Love n Hugs...Laura

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

THe Verdict

Well as of 1:00 pm today: naptime....Gabe has not up chucked once.....
He ran around all morning being very irritable, doing bad things he knows better than to do, got many spankings, used a box of kleenex, drooled like crazy, had VERY smelly poo, and acted fine otherwise. Soooooooo, the verdict is this: he must still be working on getting his 2 yr molars in (i've been told by many it's a long process). Ever since he got his first tooth, we knew he was teething by these signs: very smelly poo, sore bottom, lotsa drooling, irritable, and runny noses sometimes joined by a cough. He didn't cough at all this morning, although he did a little bit when I put him in bed, and I just ignored it to see what would far so good.....I'd have to say I'll be very thankful if this doesn't end up being the flu bug, cuz i hate it!!! I can handle teething a little easier.

Today I'm trying to get caught up on laundry. Honestly, I don't see how families do it that have more than 2 kids.....I guess there never is caught up time as long as we all wear clothes, eh? And then Lil miss Ellie is going thru another "spitty stage" that means we go thru many burp rags a day.....*sigh* My friend Melinda stopped by at lunch time and told me "This too shall pass." And on Sunday she told me be thankful for this stage, cuz the older they get, the more drama, the more mouthing back, I shall be thankful in all things!

As I was thinking about how washing our dirty clothes never stops, I got to thinking it's the same with our hearts and attitudes. As long as we are striving to live for Jesus, we will continually need daily cleansing from Him. As long as we are attaining for the Heavenly goal, we will need constant mercy and forgiveness as we are humans....and although we'll never be perfect, we can strive to be more like Jesus. Our attitudes sometimes need adjusted by our Father, and every once in awhile some of us have to go thru spiritual heart transplants in the purifying process.

Thank You Father that Your love covers all. Thank You Father for being our rock and holding us steady when our legs get wobbly. Thank You that You wash us anew each day. In Jesus' name...Amen.

Love n Hugs....Laura

Monday, April 7, 2008

Up Chuck

*WARNING* DO NOT read if you have faintatheart sydrome or queasy stomach.....

So the last 3 nights Gabe has up-chucked in his bed...very nice let me tell ya....
He has had a cold/cough/getting 2 yr molars going on for awhile now, sooooo.....
The last 2 nights he has coughed we think to get our attention, cuz we go running in when we hear the most awful wretching/gagging noises and immediatley he stops and points at the little circle of you know what that he has made in bed. And begins to jabber like a madman....(or his latest jabbering madman attitude when he's trying to distract you from giving him a spanking) not sure which is funnier, but the important point is that we follow thru with discipline and not let his little act sway us ;) So after the first night of this happening and him acting fine then running around acting silly while we changed his bed, we thought, okay, he can't be sick. Then it happens again last night, same we change his bed, he acts fine and we give him the talk. No more gagging, time for sleep! He goes to sleep after some fake crying (that's pretty funny too but we don't let him know it) Well, tonite he does it again and I run in there before it gets serious hoping to prevent the saga continuing. So, he and I have "the talk"again and then just as I am walking away, he quickly gags and this time it shoots thru the air and onto the carpet since he was still standing in his mommy yells saying "Stop! Stop! Stop! (as if he can once chuck starts coming up the up) and the poor boy starts mommy apologizes and cleans the carpet. We talk some more and he calms down. I go out and wait by the moniter to see if I can hear anything, I call my mom to tell her the details and hear him coughing again. Okay, he really has tons of drainage, is going thru a box of Kleenex a day (ask my mom, it's true!) so I understand if his throat feels yucky and he just wants to get it out, so that's why we give him a drink when he starts gagging, to help out. Well, I go back in there and he has proceeded to up chuck ALL OVER in his bed....unbelievable....the mattress pad and sheets are gonna be in shreds soon because of all the washings and dryings they have taken! So I take him out (at this time Ellis is screaming in hunger and tiredness) I call my hubby (who has just sat down to watch the Final Four bball game at a friends) and say please come home, I can't deal with this by myself tonite and after all they are your children too. And the wonderful man he is, leaves his place of bliss, no smell of up chuck, no screaming baby, no gaggy boy, and comes home to rescue us. Gabe is running around at this point acting all fine, but I have no idea if he's sick or it the flu or just cuz the crap that's running down his throat???

Oh, and more drama........"Key" which is Gabe's monkey that he sleeps with and only sucks his thumb with got up chucked upon ( the first time I wiped him off as good as possible because his life turns upside down if he can't sleep with him, the second time he got it good) so Key had to go into the wash machine with the rest of the mess. A friend from church had found him another monkey (and my parents also) just like Key but he would have nothing to do with them as he could tell they were different. So Jason and I had to give him the other "new one" tonite and he proceeded to throw a fit so we went into this big spiel about how we gave monkey and bath and blow dried him and that's why he looked so fluffy and new (unlike Key who's fluff is flat and tail is VERy flat) he didn't buy it. So because I didn't know if he was sick and he wasn't calming down in bed after sticking him in and he kept throwing monkey out, I decided to rock him. Jason moved the rocker into his room and I enjoyed rocking my big baby to sleep. I'm tellin' ya....I haven't done it in forever cuz I'm big on keeping my kids on schedules and a routine and I quit rocking him towards the end of my pregnancy with Ellie cuz it got so stinkin' awkward and I knew I needed to get out of that habit before baby #2 came......soooooo I totally had the greatest precious moment tonite even after all that hibity bibity. was amazing. He would jabber all the words he knows how to say then started drifting off to la-la land and all of a sudden pops his eyes open, looks up at me and says: Hi in the flirtacious way he says was great. It was a good time of just praying over him too while I held him.

My husband just informed me that the game just went into overtime and it's 10:30 pm....poor guy, this is what happens when ya don't have have to "watch" the scores on the internet and sadly wish you could see it all instead of running home to clean up chuck. So if you see my hubby this week: remind him what a great guy he is!!!!

Hope you all hava great week! Happy Monday, eh?

Love n Hugs...Laura

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Busy Weekend

Too much pink for me, but the warmest stuff i could find in the diaper bag, she didn't mind.
A genuine cowboy will romp around in horse poo!!!! Gabe found the biggest pile around....

Jacob and Ray-Ray getting her horse ready.

Paw-Paw is the hero in Gabe's life...he wakes up asking about him and goes to sleep talking about him.

The cutest cowgirl ever with the cutest cowboy ever ;)

Gabe wanted to sit on the horse with Mommy, but NO riding...we'll have to take it slow.

Uncles Matt and Isaac's dreams are coming true, he will play ball. They say training camp will start at 4 yrs old for him ;)

The flirtacious toddler entertaining the waiting teams.

Lil miss Ellie had lotsa fun too!!

My brother is the one in the white nike shirt--the tallest on his team and the others.

Hi friends...
Well, we've had one crazy fun weekend....Friday night we had my brother Isaac's 3-on-3 basketball tournament at Onarga Academy. Last year he played with his age level and this year he decided to give the adult division a try....a whole new adventure! They played well even though they didn't win. I'm so proud of Isaac for giving it a shot and playing hard. Gabe had a blast...someone gave him a ball and he proceeded to go make friends with the "big boys" and flirt with many girls way older than him....*sigh* no one told me it started this young.

Saturday night we had my brother Jacob's girlfriend's rodeo in Hopedale. It was a high school league so it was pretty cool. Would have to say it's the smallest rodeo I have ever been to but so neat to see all these kids have so much fun. Randi (Jacob's girl) did poles and barrel racing...she was awesome! I got some great pictures, but unfortunatly none in the arena turned out. ;( Gabe once again, had the time of his life. He took his flirting to a whole other level when he leaned forward trying to kiss an adorable little cowgirl sitting in front of us. What am I going to do with this child?!?!?!?! No one is a stranger to him and all night long he kept saying a big "HI!" to random people. Ellie did great the first part of the night, was bundled up cuz it got chilly....then halfway thru when she was sleeping, a tractor came into the arena to straighten the dirt and she got scared. I took her out to the van and she proceeded to scream for 1/2 hr....nothing I did would calm her down. So we ended up leaving early and it wasn't until the van started moving that she quit crying finally. The poor girl....she is much more sensitive than Gabe was, but she is a girl so I should expect it, eh?

Today has been beautiful.....everyone is out and about enjoying the weather...we've waited sooooooo long for it to come! Well, Mr. Gabe is walking around me with a most delightful smell of poo trailing him...diaper duty calls. Hava great week!
Love n Hugs...Laura

Friday, April 4, 2008

Going Down Under

By Laura Strough (from the files of 2007)

This morning I walked into the living room, and looked out our big picture window. There was the craziest and funniest sight ever!! A little squirrel was playing ON TOP of our evergreen bushes, trying frantically to stay on top amidst all the holes and gaps in the dense leaves. It was easy to see he was enjoying his little adventure, but soon, he realized, there wasn’t anything more on top of the bushes, than a nice view of the neighborhood around him. So, he swished his tail, and went back DOWN UNDER.
As I chuckled and walked away, I thought, okay Lord…what are you trying to show me or speak to me thru this funny little squirrel? My Father quickly answered me this time as I picked up my Bible to begin my “coffee and Jesus” time. I opened to this passage: “This the meaning of the parable: The seed is the Word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among the thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” Luke 8:11-15 NIV
The Lord began speaking to me what he was showing me thru the little squirrel. He said this: “ My child, I will give you many times ON TOP of the mountains in life (or the bushes for the squirrels) to enjoy the view and a time of rest. But like the little squirrel, there’s only so long ON TOP before you need to go back DOWN UNDER, digging deeper into what I would have for you. For the seeds I plant for you go deep into the soil DOWN UNDER to begin their roots and these moments have purpose for you. Deep digging times that begin your roots in the season I have placed you in. As time goes by, and you grow with the seeds I plant, and you remain, abiding in me, I will produce the fruit for you to enjoy. In this, those around you will be blessed also as you produce fruit that is good and pleasing in My eyes. But you must not try to skip the processes of growing and get back quickly ON TOP…stay with Me in My timing and not yours. Abide in Me during the planting and growing seasons.”
Brothers and sisters in Christ: if we hurry thru the seasons God places us in and try doing it all in our own timing, we will not produce the crop that the Heavenly Father is cultivating in us…and that He alone can do. And if we try to stay ON TOP often, we won’t be blessed until we go back DOWN UNDER, digging deeper into the Word of God and what He would have for us in the seasons of life.

HAPPY FRIDAY! Yeah for the weekends...and the forecast for Illinois looks beautiful!!!

Love n Hugs...Laura

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Monkey Business

Funny things our monkey boy has learned the last week:

1- He was blowing at qtips in the box and saying hot! the only thing i can figure out is he thought
they looked like candles.
2- His little push mower has been transformed into a scooter...he learned how to put one foot in and push himself with the other.
3-Learned how to sit on a big bouncy ball...he thought it was hilarious...i did too until...
4- He tried sitting on a bouncy ball the size of a golf ball....ha ha ha..wish you coulda been here.
5- He has learned how to skip...i have no idea who taught him.
6- He learned how to flush the toilet but he's not potty training yet..i guess another sign i should get started soon, eh?
7-How to put balls by his boobies...guess he's been watching too much breastfeeding around here

NOT so funny things he has learned:

1-How to shake his head no-no and responds to us frequently with this.
2- How to blow his nose in the air! Meaning: I need a kleenex
3-How to torment his sister by doing the following:
a. bounce balls off her head
b. pick her up
c. lay on her
d. feed her teddy grahams(remember she is only 4.5 mths!)
e. set his sippy cup in front of her, then quickly take it away and shake his head no-no
f. climb in her bouncy seat with her that has a weight limit ya know
g. take her toys away from her
4- How to unlatch the halfdoor going to basement stairs by standing on a tall can, leaning over the wall and fiddling with the latch til he figured it out!!!
5- How to spit...whatever happened to my well mannered boy?!?!?! wait, is there such a thing?
ps. he thinks it's hilarious when he farts or anyone else, he's not even 2 yet!!!

But what can I say...I'm thankful he's a healthy monkey all in all.

Love n Hugs....Laura


I got this in an email today...good stuff:

'The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.'

Love n Hugs...Laura


Well, well, well.....lookee what we have here....our new neighbors that moved directly across the street from us just got their house painted PINK today!!! yikes!!! did I ever tell you guys how much i HATE the color pink? i do....but guess what? God gave us a beautiful little girl and in that came lotsa giftings of pink attire. i'm surrounded by pinkness!!!so what am i gonna do? dress the poor girl in pink cuz i can't afford to buy all new clothes for her and i do really appreciate all the gifts..especially from my great cuz marci. they have had 3 girls and guess who inherited their clothes? yup, little miss Ellie. and now....for some reason, the people across the street think their house should go from a shade of mint green to a shade of soft "mauvy" pink. *sigh* i guess it could be worse, like hot pink and purple, the house in watseka.
Lord, what are you teaching me in this? oh, that's right, don't judge yer neighbors by their house color, get yer fanny over there and welcome them to the neighborhood with a plate of cookies ;)

got in an interesting conversation last night with one of my brothers (also earlier in the day with a different brother....hmmm) about cussing/filthy words etc coming out of our mouth as christians. and lo and behold, today, God showed me this in my quiet time:

"But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all in all.
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humilty, meekness, longsuffering, bearing one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all things, put on LOVE, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful." Colossians 3:8-15

Heavenly Father, forgive me for the times I have sinned against You with my mouth. Forgive me for not honoring You at all times. Forgive me Father for the times I am judgemental of others when I should be loving instead. Father, I want to be a light for You in this dark me to remember that LOVE must be first and foremost in my heart. Love for You, then love for others. Thank You Father that Your mercies are new everyday and You cleanse us from our daily sins. In Jesus' Name...Amen.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


A visit from Great Aunt Pat...we had so much fun!
This is how Lil Miss Ellie wakes up in the mornings...the happiest baby ever!!

A random shot before tucking the kiddos into bed...

The great debate continues whether we should cut the curls....He's earning the nickname Curly.

Really Mommy, I didn't do a thing except try to shove Ellie's passy in her mouth!!!!!

He loves his boots, what can i say???

The Grass is Greener...

So it all started last week...God started whispering little love words to me about being content.
First I heard Him in the bathroom one night when I was taking my shower. I was looking at my neon green/blue striped walls that I had painted 8 mths ago when we bought our house. I love the frog theme and colors in my bathroom, but I had a feeling i would get tired of it real quicklike. You see when we bought our house, I tried every way possible to cut corners and save money. I had tons of frog decor, bathroom towels, picture frames that matched, so all i had to spend money on was i went with the frog theme. And I thought, it's okay, I have kids that we're raising, it will be very kid friendly. My husband complains he has to wear sunglasses in there cuz it's so bright...but it sure is cheery!! And guess what...8 mths down the road, and I'm sick of it. So I was complaining to God that I wished I had more money so I could redecorate it...and He whispered to me: Laura, a bathroom is a piddly thing in the greater scheme of life. If you aren't content with the small things, how can you be content with the big things?
And then going to bed that night, he gave me a kick-in-da-rear with what I opened to in the Bible.
"Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have." Hebrews 13:5
Okay, Father, I hear You...I will be content with my bathroom frogs awhile longer.

In the greater picture of life...I was talking to 2 different friends over the past couple months that aren't sure they are staying in their marriages. It broke my heart to hear these people say they didn't know if they could stick it out any longer with their spouse.
Friends: hear me when I say this:
"The grass isn't greener on the other side of the's greener where you fertilize it!"
Some of our marriages take more work than others....I am one of them. I am a very stubborn and strong-willed person, and because of it, I mess up alot. I know that marriage isn't always perfect and there's valleys....but praise God for the mountaintops!!! Every season of life we go thru in our marriage is for a purpose. God may not reveal what exactly it is until we're out of that season. But what we can do, is trust Him that with Him as the center of our marriage...meaning: He is in the driver's seat......that we will get thru those hard times. We have to learn to be content with where we are in life. Get in the Word, pray constantly, quit looking at what everyone else has, and appreciate what God has given you. What makes you think God has someone else out there for you if you can't even get it right with the spouse yer with????
I have also learned that love gets deeper with every trial you go thru with yer spouse...and isn't that what we want in life? To know love at deeper and richer levels?

"Godliness with contentment is great gain." 1 Timothy 6:6

Love n Hugs...Laura

Wonderful Wednesday

10 things i'm superly wonderful and happy about today:

1-The new freezer that came with the house works great!
(we lost ours in the big flood, had never turned on the new one that came with the house
when we bought it, cuz we didn't need it, and now we do need it....and it works!)
2- The grass is 10 times greener today because of the rain yesterday.
3- The sun is shining soooooo brightly!!
4- Both kids got their baths today ( for some reason, it always seems a huge task for me to get this done) and they smell yummy ;)
5- The bathroom floor got scrubbed
6- I made a pan of choc chip bars last night and my brother who NEVER eats desserts/sweets ate 4 OF THEM!!!!!! and my hubby (who doesn't eat them much either) ate one too.....i was literally dancing with joy last night ;) they thought i was crazy.....guess i am
7- The heating bill has come down...big relief!
8- I've only come upon 1 spider since spring is here....and he's officially DEAD! yeah!!!!
9- There's nothing better than eating choc chip bars with a good cup of right now.
10- My mom found more cute cute clothes for the kids yesterday!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Captivate Us

My new favorite song:

May you be captivated by the love Jesus has for you today.
Love n Hugs...Laura

Meat Cupcakes

Just wanted to share this yummy recipe I found that is super great for us busy mamas! Enjoy!