Saturday, May 31, 2008


Well Jason has been superdad again ;) My mom had her surgery on Thursday which went really well....thank you to all for yer prayers. So on Thursday night I cleaned and got groceries for Doc then went to see Jase had them for a good couple hours. Then Friday I took Mom to her appt, we stopped back by our house to eat lunch with Jase and the kids then Mom and I ran errands in Fairbury, got some Dairy Queen and got drenched in the down pour. I then had to head out to a wedding rehearsal that I was playing piano for. So he had them alllllllllll day today we were home off and on all some good walks in then I had the wedding to play for tonite. I told him he is an amazing husband and my mom keeps reminding me of this also ;) Jason's reply is this: "I love these kids but I am so not cut out to be the stay at home dad type...I'm actually looking forward to working with yer dad next week!" ;) ha ha.....They will be blowing in insulation and siding a house.

Jason and I started our weekly date nights again. Tonite was our first. We put the kids to bed, and headed out to sit by the campfire....we just love having a fire pit. We had some great talks, ooey-gooey, toasted marshmellows, and a beautiful quiet night. We have just realized over the years how important it is to invest in our marriage and quality time is huge in keeping it strong and deep. I'm looking forward to many more hot dates this summer! My dear mom offered to watch the kids tonite so we could go out....go figure....the woman has surgery 2 days ago and she thinks she can function normally already!!! She's unstoppable, unbeatable, and the toughest woman I know....she truly is my hero. There's no question where I get my strong will from ;)
She's the best of the best.

So after the incredible hot date, we come back in and I'm checking my email.....and I get a note that just breaks my heart. A friend of ours declares he is gay. I'm so broken hearted and very, very shocked....but I just have this feeling of deep compassion going on. Not anger like I was expecting....but I just want to show him love like Jesus would if He was still walking on earth. I just want to lift him up and see miracles happen....because they can. If we pray....believing. So tonite...I will push aside all jumbled thoughts and instead let God do more working in my own heart that I might spread more love and joy. Instead of fanning the flame of hatred.

Recently I heard someone say this:
"Jesus' last act upon earth as He was hanging breathless and dying upon the cross, was compassion. He shone love up to His last breath. I can think of so many stories of Him showing love to the sinners and NOT waggin his finger. He challenged people to look inward before casting stones. He commanded the disciples to take in the crowds instead of sending them away. He went out of His way to demonstrate deep, rich love. Shouldn't we do the same?"

Yes, yes we should.

Friday, May 30, 2008


Why does God allow hardships in our lives?

To force our need to the surface…
…So we can comfort others with the comfort we have been comforted with.
To force the issue to the surface…
…So we can recognize it, and speak into it.
To force our faith to the surface…
…And produce a deeper gratitude in our lives.

~Pastor Steven Furtick

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Oh Be Careful

Recently Gabriel and I were singing the song: Oh Be Careful...
Goes kinda like this...
"Oh, be careful little eyes what you see.
Oh, be careful little ears what you hear.
Oh be careful little hands what you do.
Oh be careful little feet where you go.
For the Father up above is looking down in Love....
Oh be careful da da da da da....."

As I was singing it and doing the motions, all of a sudden it just became a prayer in my heart.
It may be a children's song....but it's a good reminder for us adults too.
I want to be a daughter that makes her Heavenly Father joyful and proud when He looks down at me.

I just read the devotion over at Proverbs 31 Ministries and Zoe Elmore was talking about "Praying before Primping"....and "getting on your face before you put on your face."
Now, not all of us wear make-up necessarily every day, but it was just a good reminder for me to seriously get on my face before my Father every morning before I start my day. I'm ashamed to admit I haven't been doing so well with this. And the fruits are showing....I'm grumpier than usual...shorter temper...irritable...hubby freqently reminding me: "Honey, I'm your friend, not the enemy." Meaning: I'm barking more and it has a bite ;( Bad Laura.....

So tonite....I will repent of my sins. Be mad that I let satan have this victory for a time....but I will throw it back in his face for sure when I get on my face...figuratively and literally.

"But whoever keeps His Word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
...because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake"
~ 1 John 2:5-6&12 NKJV

Thank You, Heavenly Father for Your love that covers all and is unending. Thank You that the blood of Jesus washes us clean. Thank You that Your mercies are new every day and You keep no record of our wrongs. Thank You that Your strength is made perfect in our weakness and You are the true healer of all things broken and torn in our hearts. Father....I love You.
In Jesus' Holy Name...Amen.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was another great summer day. What a temperature jolt to enjoy beautiful hot sticky Illinois humidity on Monday then get coldness and rain again yesterday. I don't know, but maybe God gives that to us so we appreciate summer more, eh? So today was the 60s and bright sunniness where you get a nice sunburn.....that's what I call a perfect summer day. Not too hot and not too cold. We headed to Dad and Mom's for the day and had great fun. They are beginning the process of building a new shed so today's agenda was watching the guys haul in 10 semi loads of gravel/dirt and then watch the skidloader pack it all down. Gabe was pretty excited to see that much tractor and truck action in one day! Dad was actually home so we grilled out for lunch and that was fun too. Grampa Doc and Daddy took a break from school and joined us....what a treat. We ate outside and got some nice tans! Then this afternoon Jacob and I did the last time of having 2 mowers going at it...oh the memories of having mower races. Dad and Joshua actually bought a new one that's really we sold the other 2 and are going down to 1. So today I used the Cub Cadet one last time.....Good bye Cubby! I will miss you....although you are going to a good home (my brother Daniel) so i can visit you anytime ;) I must go apply aloe to my sunburn now. How is it, that one arm fried worse than the other??? Interesting I must say.

Hava good night! Love n Hugs...Laura

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

If a car door is left open, Gabe gets the post office key, inserts it, and thinks he's driving.
Daddy said he was NOT prepared for me to get Ellie's summer wardrobe out....Meaning:
He said he was NOT prepared for his little girl to look so pretty....i said, well what did you think, I'd dress her in winter clothes all year round?!?!??!

Sunday morning smiles

The guys deciding whether or not the goal ball should be on the highway!
Our good friends Luke n Lisa were in town for the we enjoyed a great day

Playing a good game of Botche ball

My adorable friend Lisa...the world's best librarian!

Playing with Luke....she loved how he played with toys just like she did ;)
Gabe got a cool construction set and a new truck that is VERY loud...thanks uncle matt!

Gabe's birthday with the Stroughs

Playing outside with Aunt Emily

Uncle Matt home from college....yipee!(Notice Ellie adoring her brother once again)

Uncle Jacob cuddling with Ellie....we don't see him as much as we'd like as he's always riding bulls and working hard!
Hmmmmm, the hat is backwards again, we think he doesn't know the right way to wear it

Getting yardwork done....Gabe loves helping Daddy out!

Having fun with Grampa!!!!!

Gabe's Birthday with Grampa Doc

Playing in her bed is one of her favorites
Ellie is 6 mths!!!!

New Pictures

sorry it took so long but here's some new pictures....gabe being onery and tuning us out ;)
he thought ellie needed to wear his new birthday present too...she wasn't too thrilled

Having fun with Daddy

one of my awesome garage sale purchases...Gabe's mower.

he is hardly ever without a hat nowdays.....

trying to fit a bib on her....she was happily playing

he can usually be found wearing boots also....even when cleaning ;)

ellie absolutely adoooooooores her big brother!

keegan and gabe almost ready to konk out for naps after a big trip to walmart!

a moment earlier he had been trying to lift her out...i canNOT leave them alone!!!!

our very happy and content little girl....God knew I needed this type child after Gabe!!!

another one of his hats....turned backwards....we didn't teach him that believe it or not.

Monday, May 26, 2008


"Nowhere in the Bible are we told to build unity. We are simply told to keep unity.
From God's perspective there is but "one flock and one shepherd" (John 10:16)
Unity does not need to be created; it simply needs to be protected.

How do we do that? Does that mean we compromise our convictions? No. Does that mean
we abandon the truths we cherish? No. But it does mean we look long and hard at the attitudes we carry. " ~ Max Lucado

"May the Lord lead your hearts into God's love and Christ's patience." 2 Thess 3:5

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Whirling and Twirling

I was thinking tonite again of the Chapman family....and how the eternal clocks God has for us sometimes stikes midnight and calls our loved ones home before we are ready to let them go.

I don't want to get too busy in the whirl and twirl of life....I want to do as much "dancing" as possible with our children...they are only ours for a season...and they are only "on loan" to us. I want to linger in the moments and not rush them to grow up. I want to soak it all in....and just be thankful for these precious gifts.

And most of all....I never want to be too busy to whirl and twirl with my Jesus. After all...I am His Cinderella....I am His princess...and I want to linger in that too.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


I have to tell the cute story about my hubby....and what he is teaching our son....but please do not tell him I'm tattling on him ;) I just can't resist, it's so adorable.
The last couple months Gabe has become a snuggler again. ( He was up until 8 mths when he started walking, then hasn't stopped moving enough to cuddle unless he's not feeling good).
He will randomly just come running up to me during the day and wrap his arms around my neck and just melts my heart. He has started doing this even more so when we put him to bed....he likes to drag out the process and dilly-dally. So after we pray with him and give kisses and hugs, he will come back to me and I'll be standing there and he'll just lay on my chest with his arms wrapped around my middle. (he is still in his crib with the cage so this puts him at chest level)
Jason will usally say something about Gabe not doing that with him....but tonite he says this:
"I know why he doesn't do that with me...I don't have boobs. That's it, Gabriel, I will grow man-boobs so you will snuggle with me too!" And what does our dear son start saying for the first time ever?!?!?!?!!? He pulls back from me and says, "Boob!" And proceeds to say it again and again....Jason had to leave the room. And I'm left standing there....trying not to die laughing and trying to figure out how to tell Gabe he probably shouldn't say this word?!?!?!?!
Thanks honey......for educating our son. Yer the best of the best ;) PS. What is a man-boob?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Longing for His Embrace

"Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand, And His arm shall rule for Him;
Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work is before Him. He will feed His flock like a
shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom,
And gently lead those who are with young." Isaiah 40: 10

Today is one of those days that I just long for His embrace...literally....I cannot wait to finally
feel His embrace when He comes back to gather us up and take us Home. For some reason, I think it will be a completley different feel than knowing now what His embrace feels like. It will be a whole new embrace....the final embrace on earth before we pass into Heaven. It's gonna be extra special....and today is a day that longing is strong. So many have gone before us and are dancing in the courtyards up above...and I can't wait to be up there too.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sleepy Eyes

Me eyes are sleepy...and yet i'm still not in bed. Jase and I have gotten into a bad habit the last 2 wks of going to bed 11:30-12....we are so crazy. And now it's catching up with me....i'm so very tired tonite. So my words of wisdom are this:

The more lack of sleep you get now means more wrinkles and saggy, baggy eyes when you get older ;)

I just heard of the tragedy of Steven Curtis Chapman's 5 yr old daughter. She was killed last night in an accident...If I read it right, was standing in their driveway and was hit by a vehicle. My heart just goes out to them.....and all those that feel so surrounded by death right now in life. I keep asking myself if I could truly praise God in losing someone I love so dearly....isn't that what we are called to do? Praise Him in the storms for He has purpose in it all? He gives and takes away....He gives and takes away.....And yet we choose to say: Blessed be Your name.
And in these times we can know...that "His love endures forever." Psalm 118:2 Thru every storm, thru every trial, thru every heartache....He holds us and loves us.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Thankful List Continues...

31-green grass to walk barefoot in
32- baby sleeping on chest and sighing
33- sunsets-angels painting in sky
34- four wheeler rides with brothers
35- late night campfires with hubby
36- piano lesson students
37- morning coffee
38- digging in dirt to plant flowers
39- traditional hymns
40- mama's wisdom
41- dad's jokes
42- late night talks/cuddles
43- radio softly playing country tunes
44- warm cinnamon rolls
45- furnace on chilly nights
46- our pastor preaching The Word...The Truth
47- notes from old friends
48- water to drink
49- running cars
50- smiles from toddler

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Glory of God

"The proper understanding of everything in life begins with God. No one will ever understand the necessity of conversion who does not know why God created us. He created us 'in his image' so that we would image forth his glory in the world. We were made to be prisms refracting the life of God's glory into all of life. Why God should want to give us a share in shining with his glory is a great mystery. Call it grace or mercy or love - it is an unspeakable wonder. Once we were not. Then we existed for the glory of God!"
- John Piper

Laundry Galore

So, latley I've been feeling like I just can't keep up with laundry.....*sigh*
Gabe slept in til 9:30 this morning (which is what he used to sleep til Ellie was born) and that is late for him, so at nap time, he didn't seem to think he needed any more sleep.
After about an hour, I hear him still talking and then very loudly, "I poo! I poo!" So I went
in thinking he needed his diaper changed. He had already taken his pants off....not a good sign.
I disciplined him, changed his soggy diaper, then gave him strict orders to take a nap with monkey. Another hour later, still not sleeping.... I hear, "I pee! I pee!" When I opened his door I was hit in the face with the stench of pee. When I looked in, he had taken his pants and diaper off this time and peed everywhere he possibly could in bed. His pillow was soaked.....there were huge puddles everywhere!!! His bumper pad, his mattress pad, his monkey, ALL HIS BLANKETS!!!!! EVERYTHING! I cannot believe how much pee there was.....and I just wonder how long he had his diaper off. Thank goodness Jase got home early today and I let him deal with disciplining as I took apart his whole bed and carried everything down to the laundry....*sigh* Now I never will get caught up. We just never know what this little monkey boy is gonna do next. Heavenly Father, please help us to stay sane, patient and loving with our son.

Monday, May 19, 2008


We have just recieved word that gas is $4.05 in Chicago!!!
This is hibity bibity!!! Craziness!
We have also recieved word that it will do no good to complain to the President.
Does that surprise you?
Guess we'll be buying a couple mopeds and horses now....they always say a horse is an expensive animal to have....i'm thinking now it sounds pretty cheap!!!

Why I Love My Jason

Tonite when I got home from work there was a new Willow Tree angel sitting on the counter.
He says it's another Mother's Day gift he had ordered.....I was so touched. He had already gotten me 5 massage certificates! yes, you heard me.....5!!!! And my mom had gotten me one also...I'm feeling quite spoiled and pampered.

But anways....I love my Jason because....

1- He words so hard for us that I can be a mostly stay at home mama ;)
2- He gives great massages.
3- He prays with and the kids.
4- He washes dishes quite willingly.
5- He watches the kids for me so I can get out by myself.
6- He helps out with the kids daily without complaining.
7- He plays with Gabe like a fun daddy does ;)
8- He puts up with alot from me.
9- He makes me laugh....oh so hard.
10- He cuddles even though he says it's the stupidest thing ever ;)

* I just got an email today saying "Just want you to know your husband is known as the choir director at Prairie Central that is an awesome Godly man." Now if that don't just make my heart swell up. Thank You Father, for this amazing man!

Diggy Digger

So I was painting again today and having a grand ol time when I heard the customer's daughter singing as she was playing. She says this: "Mom I'm the best digger ever!" (they were cleaning out the toy closet and chest) She then proceeds to start singing a beautiful song that makes me start cracking up. (these moments are when I can't wait for Gabe to start speaking in full sentences instead of his redneck jabber) Her song:

"I'm the best best diggy diggy digger....oh I'm the best best diggy diggy digger...oh oh oh....."
It was great....seriously....I wish I coulda taped it ;)

This of course, got me thinking.......Am I the best diggy digger? I could be....I could be a digger of God's Word. Digging in daily to get closer, deeper, richer, fuller, higher, His Love.
I do have my daily quiet times....some longer than others. I do get into the Word daily.....but how much "diggy digging" do I really do? How deep am I going each time? I want more deeper digginess than just surface grazing and barely feeling and knowing what exactly God has in store for me. I want to be submersed in that it's more of Him and less of me daily.

I pray "diggy diggerness" for you in the coming days and weeks ;)
And don't forget: God loves you so very very much......
He adores you and cares for you like no other.

Love n Hugs...Laura

Sunday, May 18, 2008


This morning...sunshine spilled in our patio doors...making the kitchen warm with God's love.
On the way to church...the countryside was green and blooming...God's gentle and artistic hand.
This afternoon....fluffy white clouds drifted low...almost kissing the earth...and the sky was oh so blue in the background...God's promises sat upon every cloud.
This Blake's grave...the wind blew and the chimes sang beauty...while God's whispers blew in too....and dried away my tears.
I sit now beside the window with moonlight shining in...and I'm surrounded by quietness of the night....God's gift to me. His never ending gifts of love, mercy and grace.

And I surrender again....I lay it all at His life. And say, Not my will, but Yours be done, Father. I lay down my fears.....I lay down my sadness and say, I choose to turn my weeping into dancing. For You Father, have promised new life to me....Your love covers all....and You give more grace. When doubt comes again...I lay it at His feet. When anger rises up....I fall at His feet. When oppression pushes down....I press closer to His embrace. Daily....I must surrender. Daily...I must repent. Daily....I dwell in the Father's presence....and surrender to His love. For without it...I am nothing.

Love n Hugs....Laura

Saturday, May 17, 2008

This World Is Not My Home

"This world is not my home, I'm just a passing thru...
my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue;
The angels beckon me from Heaven's open door,
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.
O Lord, you know I have no friend like You
If Heaven's not my home, then, Lord what will I do?
The angels beckon me from Heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore."

~Traditional Hymn

How often is it that we get comfortable here on earth?
How often do we realize this isn't really our home?
How often do we forget that life here is short?
How often do we remember to think with eternal perspective?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

God Given Talent

This is the amazing drummer from Casting Crowns that I got to see in concert a couple weeks's called using your God given talent....and wow does he have some! Enjoy!

It's a Bow

Tonite we saw a beautiful sunset and rainbow. Jase and I took Gabe out to see was his first time seeing such beauty. When we put him to bed later he pointed to the ceiling and kept saying, "Bow! Bow!" It was so cute, but I get so frustrated cuz he only says the last half of alot of words, hopefully it will all come together soon in his vocabulary. I'm not sure what else I can be doing to help him other than sounding words out repeatedly.

We got some new worship DVDs in the mail today and Gabe and I had great fun getting a sweaty workout. When anyone walks by our house in the mornings they probably wonder what kind of craziness is going on in our living room with the loud music and dancing monkeys ;) It's just us, praising our Jesus!!! The ones we get have alot of worship music but also alot of scripture reading out loud and I keep thinking the more Word of God I can get in Gabe's little head, the less attitude and strong willedness will hopefully come out of him.

Today we were also talking about where Jesus is and Gabe will point to Heaven and then his heart. Today he did this, then paused and patted his heart and said, "Daddy!" It just melted mine ;) Yes, his Daddy is in his heart...Just like Jesus is.

Our Employment

“Do not…forget God,
but think on Him often,
adore Him continually,
live and die with Him;
this is the glorious employment of a Christian.
In a word, this is our profession;
if we do not know it, we must learn it.”

~Brother Lawrence

Gabe was wowed...

Last night at church Pastor was preaching and said "Jesus was 100% man AND 100% Christ."
Very loudly, Gabe said, "Wow!" Needless to say the sermon was distracted for a moment as everyone started laughing and so did Pastor. He said, "Man, that was good, I should just quit preaching right now, there's no more to say."

Honestly, Jason and I are working on his manners during church on Wednesday nights as we don't have sunday school or nursery. They tried taking him in with the bigger kid's children church last night but that didn't last long. I really think it's good to teach our children how to sit and listen during some services...after all, my brothers and I did growing up, so if we did, our kids can too. There's nothing like keeping them under the sound of The Word....their little ears pick up so much as it is, what better place for them to be?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

And Now My Lifesong Sings...

Jase and I just got back from 2 days in Springfield. We are emotionally drained.
His Uncle Tom's visitation and funeral was just a really memorable time if that can be said. He was an amazing husband, father, brother, son, friend, co-worker, VP of bank. How many people show up to your wake and shed tears is a sign of how loved you were and missed you will be.
The people just kept coming to show their support and it was just awesome to hear all the great memories we all have of him. Last night, us nieces and nephews (that were adults) left to go check in to our hotel and eat supper as the visitation was going longer. We enjoyed a nice meal at O'Charleys and had alot of fun relaxing and telling stories. My parents kept the kids (thank you, thank you are the best of the best...and I don't know what we'd do without you!) so even with the circumstances, Jason and I enjoyed some "us time". We don't have TV here at home, so we always enjoy watching the good stuff at the hotels ;) The breakfast this morning was amazing as was the coffee and selection of creamers!!!! I was sooooooo excited ;)

Today was a good mixture of laughter and tears as we reminiced (sp?) about Unlce Tom and what a great guy he was. Jase got chosen to read scripture so that was an honor for him. Tom was buried in the same cemetary as Lincoln so that was pretty neat too to make that drive past the war memorials and Lincoln Monument. Please keep his wife Debbie and their kids: Cameron, Kaitlyn, and Jacob in your prayers.

On the way home Jase and I talked about what we would want said at our funerals, what music we want know, all the stuff you don't really want to talk about, but it needs to be done. Life has just really been put in perspective the last week. We are holding each other a little bit tighter and longer these days......and when our life here is done, what is it that people will say about us? What kind of legacy did we leave? How many lives did we touch? How much of the Gospel did we share? How well did we love and forgive? How evident was it Who we lived for? Who did our lifesong sing of?

Love n Hugs...Laura

Monday, May 12, 2008

Monkey Business

Well....Gabe continues his daily activities of keeping me busy.
Tonite he kept climbing and hanging on the back of Ellie's swing...and I of course, kept
disciplining and saying no, you will break it. He listened finally...then awhile later he came
back again. This time, he had climbed onto the side of the swing, his rear was sitting on the back of her swing and hanging on the rail, his legs wrapped around the rail, and swinging back and forth....just like a monkey. I just wish I had the camera (it was in Jason's car and he was gone). He tried to sit very still but the weight of his body kept moving the swing and he would give a scared yelp as it moved then it would still...then the same thing again....I had to laugh so hard before I finally rescued him....his eyes were big as saucers and guess what?!?!?! He didn't climb or hang on it again tonite!

Much to my dismay, Gabe figured out how to hang on the entertainment center wooden door and swing back and forth today also.......I don't think it will handle many more of those happenings! It's a great piece of furniture but NOT that great!

He got himself stuck in Ellie's walker the other day....once again, I couldn't find the camera...but the kid was very traumitized!!

He has been a big tease to Ellie lately...He will take whatever he is eating for snack and set it in front of her, watch her, then grab it back.

He loves to say Wow! at very appropriate times....the other day we had a train of 39 motorcycles come past our house....he was wowed!

He pulled my curling iron out of the drawer today and acted like he was doing his hair....ha ha!

He figured out how to open the refridgerator door....uh oh.......

He had gotten into the cupboard with the box of garbage bags and pulled them out everywhere. I disciplined him and went on my way. A little later he came to me, took my hand, and led me to his bedroom. He had gotten the box of bags again and pulled them out onto his floor. He shook his finger at the box and said No! No! I just had to laugh....I've only realized lately how much I actually shake my finger ;)

Thru the Cycles

Guess I forgot to check all the jean pockets as I found a dollar bill in the washing machine this morning. It had made it thru in one piece....was very clean lookin'......and Washington was still halfway smiling and sitting tall. It made me think:

As we go thru all the purifying processes with the Lord in being made "white as snow" we still come out halfway smiling? Are we still sitting or standing tall? I look back at my life and many times I almost didn't make it thru the cycles. I almost slumped lower instead of focusing in on Jesus and standing up taller. Many times I haven't always come out smiling....But always, God has been faithful. Always His hand has guided me. Always His grace has been sufficient. And always, I have made it thru. It's all because of Jesus I'm alive. And because I'm empty hands are held high...and I'm letting my lifesong sing to Him. I will still mess up alot, may slump at times, and won't always have the brightest smile...but I'm not afraid of the cycles...for in Jesus, I will be washed as white as snow.

Love n Hugs...Laura

Sunday, May 11, 2008


"I think that motherhood is the highest calling. All women are not mothers, but I believe every woman is called to mother, to nurture life, to call forth life in others. Mothering is a hidden life. You sometimes feel like life is passing you by when you lay aside your career, your education and your personal desires for what feels like an eternity. And sometimes those things never get raised up again. When I was in my 30s, I called it the "wiping decade" because I was always wiping something: tears, bottoms, runny noses, countertops. I felt like a walking napkin. But Jesus said to be the greatest is to be the servant of all. God does his best work in hiddenness. And when you encourage and love your children, it tells them they are so valuable. They are worth it. And you are doing it millions of times over again with all of the choices you make every day. "Read me a book, Mom." And you read your son a book when you wanted to go soak in the tub. Now, your kids probably won't recognize it until they are 30 years old, which is incredibly hard, too. Motherhood is a life of sacrifice given in the service of others. There is incredible value in laying yourself aside for a season as you nurture your child's life. Someone once told me when my kids were little that these are the longest days and the shortest years. At the moment, they were just the longest days. But now they feel like the shortest years. "

~Stasi Eldredge

To All the Mamas

To All the Mamas…

“I have heard it said that having a child is like having your heart walk around outside your body. How a mother aches to protect her child. And yet all the while, from infancy to adulthood, a good mother is training her child to move ever more away from her, to need her less and less. Mothers love and long for their children. Their hearts ache for them, over them. A woman bleeds when she gives birth, but that is only the beginning of the bleeding. A heart enlarged by all a mother endures with and through her child’s life, all a mother prays and works and hopes for on her child’s behalf bleeds too.

While our hearts drink deeply and rest in God’s good heart, he “mothers” us so that we continue to become ever more truly who he intends us and created us to be--the women we truly are. A woman who partners with God in bringing forth life in this damaged world---offering, loving, inviting others to become who they were meant to be---she is a mother indeed. She---like God---offers freedom and life.”
~Captivating--By John and Stasi Eldredge

May you be blessed today knowing you are so very beautiful…and a precious mama!
Love ya…Laura

Ground Beef Turnovers

4 cup
1 tablespoon
2 teaspoon
1¾ cup
½ cup
Ice water
Egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon
2 pounds
Lean ground beef, uncooked
1 cup
Diced carrots
2 medium
Potatoes cut in 1/4" cubes
1 medium
Onion, chopped
1 teaspoon
To 2 t. Salt
¼ teaspoon
Half-and-half cream,optional
FILLING In a bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt; cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine the water, egg and vinegar; mix well. Add to shortening mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing lightly with a fork until mixture forms a ball. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the first 6 filling ingredients. Divide pastry into 15 equal portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one portion into a 6 1/2" circle. Mound a heaping 1/3 cup filling on half of circle. Moisten edges with water; fold dough over filling and press edges with a fork to seal. Transfer to a greased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pastry and filling. Cut 3 slits in the top of each turnover; brush with cream. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until vegetables are tender and crust is golden brown. Country Woman magazine, Sept/Oct 1995. Recipe by Wendy Tomlinson. Typos by Sandi Cutright, 11-95.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Please Pray

Jason's uncle passed away very suddenly tonite. He left behind a wife and 3 young
children....please pray for the family that they would truly know the love and peace
of God thru this time.

Friday, May 9, 2008


Today was another great day.....Dad and I finished up our window job and since we knew we didn't have a full day of work we went garage saling. Yup! You heard Dad and I went garage saling! This was a first for us...and we had a blast. I found a ton more bargains and we found some yummy baked goods for our mid morning snack. I found lotsa fun tools for Gabe's birthday....when I brought them home tonite he picked up the toy drill and walked around trying to drill things and would say: "Paw-Paw! Paw-Paw!" he is such a grampa's boy ;) I also had the chance to run to my friend's house that I hadn't seen for a long time and got to see her little ones that are getting big and catch was so fun.

yesterday was great too...I didn't end up working with Dad so instead I babysat for Keegan while Barb went with Mom to her MRI appt. Even though both Gabe and Keegan are busy, onery little boys, they had so much fun together and it was so nice to have someone here to play with Gabe. I also got the oppurtunity to rock him to sleep. It just seems when your own kids are so young you don't get to enjoy other kids like you used to because your own take so much of our time up. So I put both my kids down and was able to cuddle with the little guy. He is an absolute doll. It's so cute, he doesn't say tons of words (that I have heard at least) but when he sees a picture of Blake, he will say, "Bubba!" It's so precious. Tonite I ran out to the grave to put a little cross that I had found. I sat for a little bit and enjoyed the sunset and looked at some of the pictures they had put there. When I got back in the car, my Alan Jackson CD was playing and the song was "When We All Get to Heaven". I just had to cry and thought, I just can't wait to get there to see that boy again....I miss seeing his smile and hearing about his great hunts. And as we drove away, with tears running down my face, I just prayed that I too would be worthy enough to enter those gates....and run on the streets of gold.

"Sing the wondrous love of Jesus, Sing His mercy and His grace;
In the mansions bright and blessed, He'll prepare for us a place.
While we walk the pilgrim pathway, Clouds will overspread the sky;
But when traveling days are over, Not a shadow, not a sigh.
Let us then be true and faithful, Trusting, serving every day;
Just one glimpse of Him in glory will the toils of life repay.
Onward to the prize before us! Soon His beauty we'll behold;
Soon the pearly gates will open, We shall tread the streets of gold.
When we all, get to Heaven, What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus, We'll sing and shout the victory."
~E. E. Hewitt

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Dear Gabriel

Dear Son...

Today is your second birthday. You have been such an incredible blessing in our lives and we can't imagine life without you. You are the cutest little boy we ever saw and we love you so very much. There are so many reasons why...
1- You say the cutest things with your own language.
2- You are very full of expressions like no other....when you were a baby, people would comment many many times how many cute expressions you had and how often you would change them.
3- You make us laugh very hard.
4- You are so very energetic, but you sleep oh so good!
5- You loved to be rocked to sleep as a baby, then became Mr. Independent and now just in the last couple weeks you are getting all cuddly with me like to be held again...and Mommy loves it when you wrap your little monkey arms around my neck and hold me tight.
6- You love playing with are infatuated with water bottles and love to make messes with them.
7- You love watching your praise and worship "vees" (movies)
8- You learned how to pray very young and are so good at reminding Daddy and Mommy if we forget.
9- You love watching Daddy play the drums at church.
10- The first words out of your mouth when you wake up in the morning are: "Daddy! Paw-Paw! Tractor!" It absolutley melts my heart.
11- You love on your little sister so well...although sometimes you squish her a little too hard and she squeaks. She adores you!
12- You love riding the four wheeler, tractors and anything that moves.
13-You aren't talking in full sentences yet but this past week you started saying "Daddy, car, school" Yes, Daddy drives his car to are so smart!
14- You love flirting out your bedroom window with the girl next door that is close to your age. Just yesterday I came into your bedroom to see you jabbering out the window and when I looked out, Ellie from next door was sitting below your window jabbering back. Later on in the afternoon I heard her yelling: "Little boy! Little boy! Where are you? And you went running to pick up where you had left off. I think I'm going to have to watch you very closely Mr. Man!
15- You are Mommy's big helper and love to follow me around the house.
16- You LOVE LOVE LOVE to clean! We vaccum frequently and you have your own vaccum, dust pan, broom, and duster. I hope you stay with this obcession!
17- You would live outside if I let you and the minute a car door opens, quicker than lightening you are sitting in the driver's seat trying to make it go....who teaches you these things?!?!?!?
18- You are still allergic to dairy products, but we are believing God for a miracle and that you are being healed even now of this.
19- You are very tall for your age and super skinny....we can count all your ribs no matter how much Mommy tries to fatten you up!
20- You LOVE boots.....and are quite the little cowboy, you wear them constantly!
21- You love hats and just today Mee-Maw gave you 2 new ones and when I went to check on you at nap time you were wearing them backwards.....I don't know who taught you that, but you'd rather wear it backwards than frontwards. I think it's adorable!
22- You love to lift your hands and worship Jesus and when someone asks you where He is, you point to Heaven and to your heart....May you never ever forget this!
23- Your smile lights up the world and you have so many of them ;)
24- You like to do very onery things and push Mommy's buttons, but I still love you.
25- Just today you started shaking your finger and saying No-no....and I had just told someone last night you didn't know how to say it....Your Auntie Sandy taught you that one!
26-You are the bestest little boy in the whole wide world and I love you up to the moon and back!

We thank God for you every day. Happy Birthday Gabriel Paul!!! Our little GPS ;)

Always yers....Mommy


“The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes.
If you foolishly ignore beauty,
you will soon find yourself without it.
Your life will be impoverished.
But if you invest in beauty,
it will remain with you all the days of your life.”
~Frank Lloyd Wright

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Isaiah 30

"Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you;
And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him.

You shall weep no more. He will be very gracious to you at the sound
of your cry; When He hears it, He will answer you.
And though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water
of affliction, Yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore,
But your eyes shall see your teachers.
Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
"This the way, walk in it," Whenever you turn to the right hand
or whenever you turn to the left.

Then He shall give the rain for your seed with which you sow the ground,
And the bread of increase of the earth; It will be fat and plentiful."

Thru the Floods and the Fires

Dad and I were talking yesterday on our lunch break...
About how the farmers burn off all the excess of cornstalks before they plant.
Sometimes the floods that come thru leave a mess and more burning than normal is done.
But after the fires and culivating...a rich dark soil is revealed so that the farmer can plant.

Isn't this how it is with us? It's thru the floods and the fires that we are refined...the old is burned away...we are stirred up so that new and fresh may grow deep in us...and the outcome will be beautiful. Take heart...there is purpose in it all.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Do you know what Pooped stands for??
Literally so very tired that you cannot get yer butt motivated to take a shower even though
you are very very dirty.....and even the stench of yer stinky feet drifting upward into your nose hairs cannot get you moving towards cleanliness.
So today I started working with my dad again. We installed 11 windows in a record time! It was sooooo much fun....i so love doing contruction work with him. And the weather was beautiful...actually hot! and i got a little sunburn ;) yipee!
Then tonite when I got home, we sat down to supper right away as my hubby informed me all the men in the house were starving.....good thing I chose crockpot meal! Then we put the kids in the double stroller, made it as far as our friends a couple houses down and hung out there awhile chatting.....then only made it around the block before it was time for the kids to go to bed.
It's so nice to have Daddy back to play with!! Yeah!

A HUGE thank you to aunt Jen who came up to help Mom watch the kids today!! You are the greatest auntie ever!!!!
For those of you that know my mom, if you could keep her in your prayers...she has been having shoulder pain for quite awhile now, had a cortisone shot and therapy which helped for awhile but now it's like her shoulder is frozen. She is in alot of pain and cannot move her arm. smelly feet are prodding me outa the chair towards the bathroom. Hava good night!
Sleep tight! Don't let the bed bugs bite....which makes me think: why do we even say this phrase? With how tiny those little creatures are (jason and i watched a nasty video about how microscopically small they are) and how fast they are, there's nothing we can do to stop them...except of course, wash your sheets often in warm water ;)

TFTD: "Trust....Delight...Commit...Rest...Wait....Fret Not..." Psalm 37

Love n Hugs....Laura

Monday, May 5, 2008

Not Ready Just Yet

Today Gabe came to me and said "I poo, I poo" which means he has done his duties and needs his diaper changed. But today he had I said, "Want to go on the big boy potty?"
He smiled big, laughed, and took my hand....He led me to the bathroom, pulled down his pants...and we proceeded to sit. He jabbered non stop...played with the toilet paper....nothing happened. I tried encouraging him.....nothing happened...he proceeded to touch everything and that was it....I was done. I think it is so nasty (even though I clean often!) for little kids to be dinking around the throne. We'll try again another day. I'm not pushing it yet.

I thought afterwards how so much we are like this with God. He says we're ready for something in life....takes us by the hand and stands right beside us the whole time. And how many times, we procastinate, dilly-dally, get off the path, get distracted, then sometimes, we just give up. We think we're not ready for whatever it is. But doesn't matter. As long as God says it's okay...go on...we can do anything...For with God, all things are possible! Our minds are the battle we just gotta get Jesus in focus...and put up the blinders on either side of our eyes and have tunnel vision: For Jesus. Great things happen then....when we say Yes to God.

Where I Come From...

"Where I come from it's cornbread and chicken.
Where I come from alot of back porch pickin'...
Where I come from tryin' to make a livin'
Workin' hard to get to Heaven...Where I come from." ~Alan Jackson

I must say I love being a small town girl. I still love it that everybody knows
everybody when you are grocery shopping, getting gas, etc....don't necessarily like
the gossip (everyone knows everyone's business) but I just love the slower life
we live than the big cities. I love the country.....and all the noises that go with it.
I love coming up behind a tractor or pulling over to let a combine pass on a road...
I'm so very thankful for where I have grown up....and so very thankful that God
brought us back to my hometown. He is so good...all the time.

Love n Hugs...Laura

Sunday, May 4, 2008

It's Over!

Well....Oklahoma is over with....done, done done.....
After many nights, months of practice...the kids pulled it off.
And they did soooooooooooooooo great....they are such a talented
group of kids. I am so proud of Jason for all the hard work he does with his students.
It's always an awesome thing to see them respect him and respond to his teachings.
We had great turnouts all 3 performances. I don't have pictures as we got a new computer
and we haven't downloaded my Kodak program yet...but asap I will share with you.
Gabe was the babysitters all nights but Lil miss Ellie went with me and did great every time.
There was just no stinkin' way Gabe was gonna sit thru a 3 hour show!!
FCCLA had some really yummy desserts too that they sold so that was fun too.
I am very happy to have my hubby back again in the evenings!
(Little does he know all the activites I have planned for us now.....and all the babysitting
I have lined up for him...hee hee) just's not thaaaaaaaat bad ;)

well, we are tired and worn out from a fun filled weekend....hope you all hava great week!

I'm also so very thankful that all the babysitters this weekend AND the sunday school teacher said that Gabe was very well behaved and why does my dear little monkey boy push my buttons so hard at home then?!?!?!??!?!

I will leave you with this:

"The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation...This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!" Psalm 118:14,24

Love n Hugs...Laura

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Baby Food Bars

I made these the other day and they were so yummy!

3 eggs
2 c sugar
1 1/4 c veg oil
1 tsp salt
2 c flour
2 tsp soda
2 tsp cinnamon

Combine eggs and sugar. Beat well. Beat in veg oil, salt, soda,
cinnamon and flour into mixture. Add 3- 5oz jars of baby food of your choice
(sweet potatoes, carrots, applesauce or apricots, they are all yummy with
this recipe!) Bake in greased sheet pan at 350 for 20 min.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 stick of butter
3 1/2 c powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
Mix well and spread on cooled bars.

Psalm 143

I read this on my friend's blog today:

"I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all Your works;
I muse on the work of Your hands.
I spread out my hands to You;
My soul longs for You like a thirsty land.
Answer me speedily, O Lord;
My spirit fails!
Do not hide Your face from me,
Lest I be like those who go down into the pit.
Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning.
For in You do I trust;
Cause me to know the way in which I should walk,
For I lift up my soul to You.
...In You I take shelter.
Teach me to do Your will,
For You are my God;
Your Spirit is good.
...Revive me, O Lord, for Your name's sake!
For Your righteousness' sake bring my soul out of trouble."

~Psalm 143

I have failed again today in "mothering and wifing".
Gabe had his stubborn attitude, did very bad things over and over again...
Made many messes...fell on his sister and made her cry...threw a crying fit and threw
up all over the living room floor, the big bean bag, his clothes....dumped water everywhere....
poured baby shampoo in i don't know where all yet...hit me...threw food on the floor...wouldn't eat his veggies...whined many, many times.....climbed up on the coffee table multiple times....found some important backup cds in the computer armoire and smudged them up good....tried messing with the buttons on the printer....stood up on the kitchen chairs many times....and when Jason got home, I took it out on him.
Why? why can't i be supermom? why can't i just be patient? why can't i just be soft spoken? Why can't I be slow to anger?
Why couldn't I just get it together? Why do I take it out on my husband?
Only by God's grace will I get thru this season...and remember that it is sufficient enough for me.
And that His mercies are new every day...*sigh* Thank You Father!

Gabe also gave me many hugs and kisses and cuddles today.....he gave me many adorable smiles and told me many stories in his language. He did eat all his other food even if he didn't eat his veggies. He did take his bath very well tonite. He did play great a couple times today by himself. I do love him so very muchly...and tomorrow is another day to get up and try again.

Hava great rest of the weekend!
Love n Hugs...Laura

Friday, May 2, 2008

Camouflaged Surroundings

The other day I was traumatized by a spider...yup, I hate them and they probably hate me.
Even though I grew up a farm girl and saw all kinds of scary and nasty insects and rodents...I still am afraid of spiders. When I went to Haiti, I saw a HUGE, hairy, black spider the size of a child's shoe....I shivered for weeks. There is a picture in my album from that trip....not for me to look at, but for proof that there are such nasty things in the world...somewhere.

So, we spray the foundation every 6 mths for such things as these. But some always manage to sneak in our house. Most interesting about this house is that most all the spiders are a light tan/straw have to look really hard to see them. Well.....let me tell eyes are strained at maxium strength this time of year. For I would hate to mistaken that spider for something else that color.

Lo and behold, the other day, one was crawling on the bathroom wall when I was getting ready. Gabe was playing in the hallway right outside the door and heard me shriek. I ran to get Daddy's sandal to kill him and by the time I got back, the spider was running rapidly for cover. Gabe saw this and was traumitized also, so I had to calm down. I got us both calmed down and we watched that smart lil spider crawl into my decor above the toilet. There is a little sign hanging from a hook with straw stuff hanging from it. And what do you think that lil guy did? Yup....he started spinning himself a nice cacoon into the straw and if I wouldn't have seen him crawl to there, I would have never know he was there. I eventually killed him successfully.
I still do not use the throne in peace yet....I lift the seat and look cautiously everywhere around it, above it, below it.....I have a fear of spiders biting me or scaring me while I'm peacefully emtying my bladder and bowel.

Moral of the story: Evil things will try to camouflage themselves into nice and pretty looking things in life. Therefore: Always, always be on guard and be aware of your surroundings...who and what you surround yourself with...and where you go.
*AND* Always inspect your royal throne's vicinity...ya never know who or what may be lurking around watching you sprinkle when you tinkle.

Happy Friday!! Love n Hugs...Laura

Thursday, May 1, 2008


"I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels."
~ Isaiah 61:10

I will choose joy because I am:
1- clothed in garments of salvation
2- covered with a robe of righteousness
3- loved by an amazing Father

Love n Hugs...Laura

Life is Short

Tonite we found out a dear man from our community was killed in a semi accident in Colorado.
He was driving his rig in the bad weather out there, hauling a load of bricks...the pictures are awful. He goes to church with my parents and well known by so many. He was always smiling a HUGE smile....always blessing people BIG....always radiating Jesus....awesome husband, father, grampa. If you didn't see him at church on Sunday, his wife and him were ministrying at truckstops and jails. He was just an amazing man. The man that was team driving with him was not a Christian...Big E was saved. His team driver survives...Big E is now dancing on the streets of gold in Heaven with Blake. God is a God that never ceases to amaze me. He chose to take the man that was ready for eternity home with him...and he's giving the other man a chance to think again about life and what it means. What a loving Father.

Tonite we also found out that some dear friends of ours are expecting their first child. And I'm sure today somewhere in the world, a baby was born already. And I'm reminded again of the song: Blessed be Your Name.

"You give and take away
You give and take away
Still I will choose to say,
Lord, Blessed be Your Name."

Heavenly Father...we just lift up to You the Steffen family tonite. Father, we just ask that You would hold them close in Your arms of love. Comfort them as only You alone can do. Give them the peace that passes all understanding. I pray that You would hold Betty close and lavish Your love upon her heart as tonite she will be missing her husband and her best friend. Father, be with their children and grandchildren...may the comfort of knowing that their Daddy and Grampa is with Jesus be greater than the sorrow. May we celebrate the Godly and joyful life of Earl Steffen...AKA: Big E from Tennessee! We will miss his smile. And Father....may this be a reminder to us...that life is truly is a vapor. May we love deeper, forgive quicker, and live for You alone. In Jesus' Name...Amen.